Bmw – Hydrogen Combustion Engine Truck Research Project (Hycet): Consortium promotes sustainable transport logistics using hydrogen trucks

BMW Research Project – Hydrogen Combustion Engine Trucks (HyCET): The consortium promotes sustainable transport logistics using hydrogen trucks.

A sustainable transport project with long-distance potential: In September 2022, the German Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) approved the application for funding for the HyCET (Hydrogen Combustion Engine Trucks) consortium research project led by the group BMW.

Other partners in the HyCET project are DEUTZ AG, DHL Freight GmbH, KEYOU GmbH, TotalEnergies Marketing Deutschland GmbH and Volvo Group.

The research project aims to demonstrate the sustainability potential of trucks with hydrogen combustion engines for transport logistics. The other issue for HyCET, alongside technology development, is the required infrastructure, such as publicly accessible hydrogen filling stations.

Thanks to its shorter filling times, high payload and versatility, combined with its attractive range, hydrogen is considered a promising fuel for transport logistics.

The use of green hydrogen produced from renewable energies will thus enable CO2-free long-distance logistics in the future. Due to the low emissions from burning hydrogen, the trucks are also considered zero-emission vehicles under EU regulations.

Driven by partners, financed by the BMDV

The HyCET research project will have an investment volume of 19.5 million euros, of which 11.3 million euros will be funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV). During the HyCET project, the BMDV also provided additional funding of €5.7 million for the construction of two public hydrogen stations intended mainly for heavy vehicle traffic.

Daniela KlucertParliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport:

Hydrogen technology gives us the opportunity to rethink mobility.

“In particular, the varied requirements of transport logistics call for appropriate responses. Hydrogen is a good energy storage solution for climate-friendly transport that can complement battery-electric mobility.

“The HyCET project we are supporting is evaluating the use of hydrogen combustion engine technology for the transport of heavy goods. In this way, the results obtained in real operation will contribute to the competition between alternative transmission technologies in the field of logistics.

Interdisciplinary cooperation is the key to success

The network has set ambitious goals for this four-year project. The aim is to develop two 18-ton trucks and two 40-ton trucks with hydrogen combustion engines that will be tested in the usual BMW Group and DEUTZ transport logistics.

Two new hydrogen filling stations including for heavy duty vehicles will be built in Leipzig and Nuremberg to facilitate the daily operation of these trucks.

Not only will research on the development and use of hydrogen trucks continue, but the standards for filling commercial vehicles and the establishment of the necessary infrastructure will also be advanced. As this is one of the first research projects in which vehicles of this class will be used in regular logistics traffic, the trucks will undergo a comprehensive technological evaluation.

Pooled expertise in consortium

The consortia project brings together expertise from different disciplines. As an end user, the BMW Group defines the key requirements for the serial introduction of hydrogen trucks in its transport logistics at a later date.

As consortium leader, the company also sets the framework for a successful project implementation and manages the pilot deployment of an 18-tonne truck at the BMW Group plant in Leipzig, as well as the coordination of the technology evaluation, which will compare the advantages and disadvantages of the hydrogen combustion engine with other innovative transmission concepts for trucks.

Michael NikolaidesSenior Vice President Production Network and Supply Chain Management BMW Group explains:

As consortium leader for the project, the BMW Group not only shows its pioneering spirit, but also its understanding of how to think about sustainability in all areas of the company.

“This includes the early testing of transport logistics technologies and the adaptation of products and infrastructure to new requirements.”

As one of the world’s leading engine manufacturers and a pioneer in the sustainable off-road sector, powertrain specialist DEUTZ has developed a 7.8 liter hydrogen engine. The initial application is already working successfully in a stationary generator. As part of the HyCET project, this engine will be installed in an 18-tonne truck to demonstrate its practicality for mobile applications.

As a recognized hydrogen expert, KEYOU GmbH develops innovative hydrogen technologies, specific H2 components and combustion processes that can be used cost-effectively to convert conventional engines into emission-free hydrogen engines. In cooperation with the Volvo GroupKEYOU is developing a 13-liter hydrogen engine under the HyCET project.

Volvo is integrating the engine and hydrogen tanks into two 40-tonne Volvo trucks used by DHL Freight in transport logistics for the BMW Group. As one of the leading road transport providers in Europe, DHL Freight will bring to the project its long experience in road freight transport and the requirements from the user’s point of view.

In addition, as a transport partner of the BMW Group, the company will also use the first vehicles developed in field tests for shuttle traffic to supply the BMW Group plant in Leipzig.

The global multi-energy company TotalEnergies intends to operate up to 150 hydrogen filling stations directly or indirectly in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France by 2030. The two new hydrogen filling stations which will be built as part of the HyCET consortium in Leipzig and Nuremberg will be an integral part of this European long-distance hydrogen network.

LILY the latest news shaping the hydrogen market at Hydrogen Central

HyCET research project: Consortium promotes sustainable transport logistics using hydrogen trucks, Munich, September 28, 2022

Kevin A. Perras