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Clean Logistics to make diesel-run lorries environment friendlier


Start-up in Winsen converts lorries to hydrogen hybrid backed by German Ministry of Transport

Clean Logistics has received a grant of EUR 3.3 million from the German Ministry of Transport to convert heavy diesel trucks to run on hydrogen hybrid drive in future making freight transport environment friendlier. This comes after the German Association of the Automotive Industry estimated that around three quarters of freight traffic in Germany is currently handled by truck, and the trend is rising. Clean Logistics based in the Winsen an der Luhe in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region specializes in developing and marketing alternative drives for the logistics industry.

Ranges of up to 500 kilometres expected

The companies Höpen, HARY and Proton Motors founded Clean Logistics to develop zero-emission drives. Dirk Graszt and Dirk Lehmann, Managing Directors, expect to be able to put the first converted trucks onto the roads in autumn 2020 and “much faster than expected” thanks to the German government’s support. Making freight transported on roads far more environment-friendly is also among key goals of the Paris Climate Protection Agreement. The business holds great potential, according to the entrepreneurs. Around 600,000 trucks weighing more than 12 tonnes are registered in Germany alone and over 2 million across Europe. The company is concentrating on “heavy” trucks weighing 40 tons with an initial range of 400 to 500 kilometres, which could be increased significantly later thanks to hydrogen hybrid drive.

Hydrogen produced by wind power

The diesel and ancillary units are removed from existing trucks so that the vehicles can be turned into so-called HyBat trucks. “This conversion can also be carried out by certified co-operating partners,” said Graszt. “This puts us in a position to handle larger quantities in future.” The hydrogen required for operation is to be produced by wind power. To this end, Clean Logistics wants to rent wind power plants and produce the hydrogen as an operator without paying taxes. “By the end of 2020, thousands of older wind turbines will already have been phased out of EEG funding,” Lehmann pointed out. “This means potentially 1,500 to 2,500 plants in northern Germany alone for producing hydrogen.” The hydrogen produced in this way is filled into so-called trailers, and the vehicles are then refuelled at a mobile filling station.

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Melissa KnausDec. 23, 2019