The logistic branch of Deutsche Bahn, DB Schenker, wants to build up a fleet of fuel cell vehicles together with the leasing startup Hylane. DB Schenker visited the premises of H2 truck manufacturer Hyzon in Groningen, Netherlands, last week to take a look at what they ordered.
Hylane will hand over the rental Hyzon FCEVs to DB Schenker by the end of 2022. DB Schenker plans to start field tests on a few selected routes with selected customers in early 2023 and intends to expand and commercialise the system from Q3 2023, depending on factors such as hydrogen infrastructure and market acceptance.
“I’m grateful to see the progress we are now making towards testing a hydrogen-powered vehicle for linehaul transportation, which will be an important step on our journey towards carbon-neutral road transportation,” said Helmut Schweighofer, CEO of DB Schenker Europe.
Sara Schiffer, Managing Director of Hylane, added, “The partnership with DB Schenker demonstrates that Hylane meets the high standards leading companies require for sustainable transport.”
DB Schenker is Hylane’s first client since the company’s foundation this April, but they started their collaboration almost two years ago. Both companies say they understand the importance of hydrogen for transforming the transport sector and combine their strengths.
“In addition to a 360-degree rental concept, the aim of the collaboration is to develop a swap-body truck-trailer combination to carry our standard swap-body type with a length of 7,820 mm,” says Wolfgang Janda, Executive Vice President, Head of Network & Linehaul Management at DB Schenker.
Hylane follows a pay-per-use business model so that rental clients only pay per kilometre driven. Service and maintenance are included, alongside the hydrogen-electric trucks from four manufacturers including Hyzon Motors.
When the company reportedly supplied Hylane with the first 18 FCEV this spring, Craig Knight, CEO of Hyzon said that “Through Hylane’s sustainable mobility program, customers across Germany can experience first-hand the vehicle performance, driver satisfaction, and emissions reductions of Hyzon’s fuel cell electric trucks.”
Hylane is a subsidiary of the German insurance company DEVK. Apart from Hyzon, the portfolio includes trucks from Hyundai, Daimler Truck in cooperation with Clean Logistics Technology and MAN through a conversion solution by Framo eTrucks with fuel cells by Bosch. Hylane targets holding over 150 fuel cell trucks by 2024. Currently, the fleet comprises 44 FCEVs.
The trucks destined for DB Schenker will be made in Groningen. Hyzon Motors had opened its European production facility there in late 2021. It serves as the company’s sales hub in Europe. Hyzon targets producing up to 1,000 trucks in Groningen this year.
DB Schenker and its carriers aim to be carbon-neutral by 2040. The use of hydrogen produced using renewable energy sources (green) is an essential element of their decarbonisation strategy, so the company.
Hylane is also working to install refuelling infrastructure with Linde and the H2 Mobility consortium.