DHL Freight has commenced a one-year pilot program utilizing a hydrogen truck developed by commercial vehicle manufacturer Paul Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH. The vehicle, known as the Paul Hydrogen Power-Truck and based on the Mercedes-Benz Atego, will undertake distribution and line haul operations at the Cologne location, marking DHL Group's second deployment of a hydrogen truck in Germany.
The company, along with its divisions, is actively exploring various sustainable drive solutions as part of its sustainability strategy, with an interim target of reducing emissions to less than 29 million tons by 2030.
Dr. Thomas Vogel, CEO of DACH, UK & IE DHL Freight, emphasized the importance of maintaining a technology-neutral approach in road transport, highlighting the significance of testing various sustainable solutions. He mentioned the company's aim to determine the optimal combination of technologies and drive systems to achieve its net-zero emissions logistics target by 2050.
Manufactured by Paul Nutzfahrzeuge on behalf of Shell in Vilshofen, Southern Germany, the two 15.6-ton trucks boast a range of approximately 400km with a trailer and 600km without a trailer. These vehicles, based on the Mercedes-Benz Atego, are operated by DHL Freight and Post & Parcel Germany under the Shell Hydrogen Pay-Per-Use platform model, which covers all necessary services and support during the period of use.
The trucks are exclusively serviced at the workshop of the Commercial Vehicle Center of Daimler Truck AG in Frechen. Hydrogen trucks emit only water vapor from the exhaust, and if the hydrogen used is produced with green electricity, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions can be up to 100%.
DHL Freight already operates approximately 150 vehicles in Germany that are either carbon emission-free or have significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Further pilot projects involving battery-electric vehicles for long-haul transport or hydrogen-powered tractor-trailers are slated to commence in 2024.