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HYLIFT-EUROPE Report Summary

Project ID: 303451
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: Germany

Periodic Report Summary 4 - HYLIFT-EUROPE (HyLIFT-EUROPE - Large scale demonstration of fuel cell powered material handling vehicles)

Project Context and Objectives:
Over recent years, the commercial case for hydrogen fuel cell materials handling vehicles has become increasingly attractive, with the costs of the technology becoming increasingly competitive in relation to the incumbent drive trains. These developments have led to several large scale deployments of such vehicles in the USA.
For a variety of reasons the commercial case for hydrogen powered fuel cell materials handling vehicles in European operations has not kept pace and, as a result, there are as yet no similar large scale deployments of materials handling vehicles in Europe.
However, the cost reductions and technology improvements required to boost commercialisation in Europe are very close. The first step to achieve commercialization of products which could be offered in Europe was the HyLIFT-DEMO project supported by the FCH JU, which deployed 11 fuel cell powered materials handling vehicles in commercial operations in a 3.5 year demonstration project.
The HyLIFT-EUROPE project represents the next logical step from HyLIFT-DEMO and addresses the topic “SP1-JTI-FCH.2011.4.1: Demonstration of fuel cell-powered Material Handling Equipment vehicles including infrastructure” in the 4th call of the European Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking Implementation Plan (AIP 2011). HyLIFT-EUROPE will provide the next step towards market deployment by increasing the volume to be demonstrated beyond 200 vehicles.
Lessons learned from HyLIFT-DEMO have shown that in order to demonstrate such a high number of vehicles, several vehicle types are needed to satisfy a wide range of customer needs. Thus, in HyLIFT-EUROPE a total of two materials handling vehicle manufacturers are participating, offering different vehicle segments, including forklifts and warehouse trucks (STILL) and airport tow tractors (MULAG).
HyLIFT-EUROPE will deploy two new and dedicated state-of-the-art materials handling refuelling solutions at two sites in France with commercial potential across Europe, providing cost reductions through volume.
The fuel cell technology to be demonstrated will be sourced by the vehicle OEMs according to the FCH JU rules (“principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness”) from the just developing market or via existing cooperations with fuel cell system suppliers. The systems will be fully integrated and operated in the above-mentioned materials handling vehicles by the participating vehicle OEMs.
The hydrogen refuelling stations (HRSs) to be deployed will use the latest refuelling technology. The project partners cover the entire value chain and all the disciplines and technologies required for providing fully working hydrogen powered fuel cell materials handling vehicle solutions. The value chain consists of both large and SME companies, who will collaborate in this project with the aim of establishing a strong European presence in the hydrogen fuel cell materials handling vehicle market.
In keeping the call objectives, the principal objective of the HyLIFT-EUROPE project is to deploy large numbers of fuel cell materials handling vehicles and associated refuelling infrastructure, with the aim of bringing the European materials handling vehicle market closer to commercialisation.

Project Results:
In general the achievements are:
• Integration of the vehicle-user Prelocentre into the consortium which now deploys 49 FC materials handling vehicles in France in a logistics environment with a hydrogen refuelling station supplied by Air Liquide. It is the first deployment of hydrogen powered fuel cell forklifts at a green field site in Europe. Onsite operations started in SEP 2015
• In JUN 2016 STILL and Air Liquide managed to secure a contract with Carrefour. Carrefour is a French supermarket chain with a global network of outlets. It is the second largest retail group in the world in terms of revenue and sales figures after Wal-Mart. The contract for the deployment of FC materials handling vehicles is to be followed by a second one to be signed in 2017. In total about 150 vehicles are to be deployed at Carrefour's brand new distribution center located in Vendin-lès-Béthune, France
• Presentation of MULAG’s hydrogen powered fuel cell airport tow tractor at the inter airport Europe fairs 2013 and 2015, one of the world’s leading trade fairs for airport equipment as well as at the BOSCH in-house exhibition
• Vehicle trials of MULAG’s airport tow tractor at Cologne/Bonn Airport and Hamburg Airport. Further tests have been performed at the sites of H2 Logic and Dantherm Power in Denmark as well as at BOSCH site in Abstatt, Germany
• Elaboration on the identification of vehicle-users and demonstration sites across Europe including workshops with potential customers focusing on fuel cell drive trains. Some discussions are very close to signed contracts
• In 2015 STILL could achieve the technical implementation as well as passing the qualification tests for fuel cell powered counterbalance and reach-trucks
• Demonstration of STILL hydrogen fuel cell powered forklifts and an Air Liquide HRS at Carrefour premises (France) in OCT 2014
• Presentation of the STILL forklift truck RX60-25 FC at the EC TEN-T Days in Riga in JUN 2015
• Completion of HRS site selection process and initial safety case approval for installation of an airside HRS at Heathrow airport, leading to a first draft of the “Installation of airside hydrogen refuelling stations in airports: lessons learnt and best practice guide”
• Presentation of the HyLIFT-EUROPE project at several events

Potential Impact:
The detailed expected final results of the project, which also align with the call objectives, are:
• Demonstration of more than 200 units of fuel cell powered materials handling vehicles at vehicle-user sites across Europe.
This will prove the feasibility and reliability in genuine daily heavy commercial use in the rugged industrial and airport operating environments. The significant volume will help to lower the costs of materials handling vehicles in Europe (and associated refuelling infrastructure) through volume production and to achieve genuine parity with the costs of the incumbent drive trains in most locations. This will be one of the first major commercially viable deployments of fuel cell powered materials handling vehicles in Europe and will facilitate the early introduction of hydrogen as a fuel for other industrial and airport materials handling vehicles.
• Demonstration of state-of-the-art supporting hydrogen refuelling infrastructure at two vehicle-user demonstration sites throughout Europe.
This will prove the safety and practical case for the use of hydrogen as a transportation fuel in the safety- and reliability-critical industrial and airport airside environments. Additionally, the deployment of new hydrogen refuelling stations providing affordable hydrogen to selected European locations which have the potential to achieve genuine parity with the costs of the incumbent drive trains will enable OEMs to further deploy hydrogen fuel cell materials handling vehicles at these locations and help to extend the European hydrogen fuel network.
• Validate Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) & path towards commercial targets.
Data acquisition will be conducted on the demonstration vehicles, allowing the validation of performance targets on durability, efficiency and costs for the hydrogen and fuel cell technology. The project will also validate TCOs at different vehicle-user sites, for all kinds of materials handling vehicles to be demonstrated. This will provide recommendations for next steps towards reaching targets enabling a supported market deployment of fuel cell materials handling vehicles.
• Plan and ensure initiation of supported market deployment of hydrogen powered fuel cell materials handling vehicles.
As part of this project, vehicle manufacturers will plan for their future deployment of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and suggestions for European / national / regional deployment support mechanisms will be developed. The project and the demonstration volume in itself will provide a first step towards commercialisation by selling the vehicles at commercially competitive prices directly through OEM manufacturers and thereby introducing a new route to market for fuel cell materials handling vehicles. The project will allow European vehicle manufacturers to develop the know-how required to build hydrogen powered fuel cell materials handling vehicles.
• Best practice guide for HRS installations.
A best practice guide will document in detail the lessons learned from obtaining safety approval as well as construction and operation permits for the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in industrial and airport environments, to be shared with potential future vehicle-users thereby streamlining the procedures for future deployments.
• European dissemination and supporting of the European industry.
HyLIFT-EUROPE represents one of the largest European trials of hydrogen powered fuel cell materials handling vehicles so far and will also be one of the first demonstrations of airport tow tractors. These facts and project results as well as experiences made will be disseminated throughout Europe and beyond targeting early adopters of hydrogen vehicles, focused on European airports and large industrial users of materials handling vehicles, as well as on key policy and industry stakeholders, and the general public. Demonstration of the vehicles at high-profile airports and large industrial companies will ensure maximum exposure of the project and will be supplemented by other targeted dissemination events, as well as by a project website. The trials of the vehicles in numerous locations will also be used as a marketing opportunity for hydrogen powered fuel cell materials handling vehicles. The demonstration and dissemination efforts will support the European industry in expanding their present lead within the materials handling sector to also include fuel cell drive trains. HyLIFT-EUROPE will allow European SMEs and industry to gain the expertise required for taking a lead role in the deployment of further fuel cell materials handling vehicles, either within Europe, or through the worldwide export of products and services.

List of Websites:

Reported by

Ludwig-Boelkow-Systemtechnik GmbH
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