VDL ready to go full force

In the meantime VDL is also going full force to have the truck developed by the end of the year. Most of the challenges have been met, but there are still some last hurdles to overcome. Pieter Bastiaansen, Manager New Business Development at VDL, explains: 

 

How is your company going about building the truck?

“The project builds on another project (Hydrogen Region 2.0, funded by Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland) where we built a 44 tonne hydrogen truck. This in turn built on an earlier project, that we started in 2016, in which we produced an electric truck with a H2 range extender positioned in the trailer. We use the same basic components but the manner in which we integrate them is what defines the H2-Share project. It takes the next step in creating reliable technology in an innovative way. The concept is now fully developed and the technical specifications have been discussed in close cooperation with input from end-users. The process is still ongoing. This dialogue is essential for us in delivering on expectations. We will develop a new vehicle, but it won’t be available on every shop floor.”

Which challenges have you faced so far?

“The idea began with a mobile refuelling station. Along the way, it became clear that the refuelling station cannot be transported with the truck, because it did not comply with ADR legislation. As a result it will have to be transported by means of standard freight to the end-users. Furthermore, the ordering of systems and parts, for example fuel cells, is a real challenge because there is an insufficient number of suppliers to meet the conditions of the market conformity regulations of Interreg.”

What has been done so far?

“We have developed a prototype, which combines technologies from earlier projects, including the basic platform from the e-truck and a range extender from a bus project. Construction will commence after the summer.”

Which steps are still required to complete the project?

“It should go much more quickly than other projects, because of the knowledge and experience we have already developed. We still need to complete the type approval with the project partners and the functional tests. The vehicle will be delivered in January 2019, ready for demonstrations.”

 

 

"We will develop a new vehicle, but it won’t be available on every shop floor."

Pieter Bastiaansen

How many people are working on the H2-Share project and what is their involvement?

“A team of ten people, including assemblers, project engineers, system architects, strategic buyers, homologation specialists and test engineers, are working on the project.”

How important are the subsidies provided by Interreg NWE for the project?

“It is important that we have already developed the vehicle by time the market is ready for it. This will only be the case once a concrete business case can be made and the price of hydrogen is lower. The availability of subsidies is essential in facilitating the development process in a feasible manner.”

What do you hope to gain from this project?

“Our aim is to create a finished product that can be successfully demonstrated and to contribute to the development of a roadmap. It is expensive technology, so we hope to gain a head start in production while we wait for the price of hydrogen to become more competitive.”

What is your overall experience of the project?

“The required procedures are strict and in our opinion are more appropriate for facilitating infrastructure projects instead of innovation projects. But, all of the organisations and partners involved work and think extremely well together. This process is well managed by WaterstofNet, and the first assessment was a success. Our experience with Interreg NWE is also positive and together we are learning a lot.”

 

A closer look at some specs of the 28 ton heavy-duty rigid truck:

GVW: 27 ton
Power: 210 kW
Torque: 2.000 Nm
Battery capacity: 82 kWh
Battery charging: 3C

Range extender
Charging power: 88 kW
Volume: 30kg H2
Range: 400 km

WB: 560
Swap body: 7,45m
Variable height swap body: 1,10 m,  1,20 m,  1,30 m
Rear foldable tail lift
Connection for centre-axle trailer

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