FCCP - Fuel Cell Cargo Pedelecs

Project Summary

Today, 75% of Europeans live in cities and suffer from air and noise pollution and traffic jams. The transport sector in European cities currently causes 50% of emissions and 30% of vehicle kilometres, thus is one of the major contributors to this issue. Due to expanding e-commerce, the last mile delivery has fundamentally changed. Goods are increasingly ordered online and delivered to the customer’s private address. More frequent but smaller parcels to decentral destinations are increasingly replacing the typical A2B transport from factories to shopping centres. Cargo pedelecs provide a veritable answer to the evolved requirements of last mile delivery. However, modern batteries cannot supply sufficient energy and fail in low temperatures which limit the potential of this promising concept. In contrast, the emission-free fuel cell technology of DLR provides significantly more energy until at least -20°C, is refilled within seconds and is twice as durable than batteries at comparable costs. With these characteristics, one fuel cell cargo pedelec (FCCP) can save 5,5 t CO2 p.a. by replacing combustion engine vehicles. For efficient exploitation of this potential, this project builds on an innovative logistic concept, tailored for the performance characteristic of FCCPs and the requirements of today’s urban freight transport (WP T1), latest fuel cell technology (WP T2), as well as intense involvement of cities to foster and implementing FCCPs (WP T3). In line with this, one crucial output of this project is a transnational strategic concept concerned with the best integration of emission free FCCPs in logistic delivery chains, including innovative technology and sustainable urban development. This project will facilitate the multiplication of emission free FCCPs, as it provides relevant and replicable information to cities and the transport sector (WP C) to stay abreast of the fundamental changes in the transport sector, reducing CO2 emissions in European cities.


Modern fuel cell instead of battery

 As alternatives to batteries a fuel cell system tailor made for the mobile application in cargo pedelecs is tested with this project. The objective isto demonstrate the potential of FCCPs to substitute combustion engine vehicles and constantly reduce CO² emissions, traffic jams and delays in deliveries. In comparison to batteries the fuel cell technology provides more energy and has less weight although having the same dimensions. Furthermore, the hydrogen tank can be refueled within seconds and suffers no performance loss at low ambient temperature. This allows to use FCCPs all year round and in comparison to conventional vehicles the cargo pedelec avoids 5,5 tones of CO² emission per year.

Since air pollution, traffic jams and delays in delivery are challenges for all European metropoles, FCCPs will be validated under the different conditions of the European partner cities.


 Development and test of fuel cell technology

For the development of the used fuel cell technology, 50 FCCPs will be tested for one year through all seasons within the partner cities. These cities represent different environmental conditions and influencing factors standing for most European cities. During the test operation the data of the fuel cell systems and cargo bikes will be collected and analyzed in order to improve the FCCPs for the intended rollout subsequent to this project by the projected DLR spin-off H2range.

 Because of the modular layout up to three hydrogen tanks each containing 300g of the substance can be integrated in the cargo pedelec. Enough for approximately 10 hours of continuous operation at 250 kW. The estimated range of one tank is about 150 kilometers depending on territory, mode of operation as well as the fitness level of the driver.


Innovative logistics concept with European cities

Due to the constantly and rapidly increasing e-commerce, more and more goods are delivered in small quantities to individual postboxes instead of the consolidated transport of huge volumes to large shopping centers. Therefore, the project partners from logistic services, online retailers, research institutes and currently four partner cities (Aberdeen, Groningen, The Hague and Stuttgart) develop together a logistic concept, which is tailor made for the requirements of today´s “Last Mile”- deliveries and the performance specifications of the fuel cell technology.

Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
German Aerospace Centre 1 Linder Höhe
bjoern.offermann@dlr.de http://www.dlr.de/
Name Contact Name Email Country
csi entwicklungstechnik Ltd. Daniel Duschek Daniel.duschek@csi-online.de Germany
City of Stuttgart Wolfgang.Forderer wolfgang.forderer@stuttgart.de Germany
Energy Expo foundation Mario Sabel Mario@energyexpo.nl Netherlands
Unicorn Engineering GmbH Jörg Dieter Weigl joerg.weigl@unicorn.engineering Germany
French institute of science and technology for transport, development and networks Emmanuel Vinot emmanuel.vinot@ifsttar.fr France
ROC Noorderpoort Roeland Hogt rmm.hogt@noorderpoort.nl Netherlands
Aberdeen City Council Laura Paterson lapaterson@aberdeeencity.gov.uk United Kingdom
DPD group International Service GmbH & Co.KG Peter Störring peter.stoerring@dpdgroup.com Germany
Université Libre de Bruxelles Milena Janjevic milena.janjevic@ulb.ac.be Belgium
Gemeente Den Haag Elisabeth Schoeman elisabeth.schoeman@denhaag.nl Netherlands
veloCARRIER GmbH Hartwig Bippus cb@velocarrier.de Germany
Issy Media Matteo Satta Matteo.satta@ville-issy.fr France
Conseil Régional île de France Nathalie Granes nathalie.granes@iledefrance.fr France
City of Issy-les-Moulineaux Matteo Satta Matteo.satta@ville-issy.fr France



FCCP at the Vision Smart City

, Mercedes-Benz Museum

FCCP was presented at the Vision Smart City 2019 from Daimler at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. Many visitors tested the FCCP prototype and learned about the FCCP project. The fuel cell bike Armadillo from Velove is not only a quite promising vehicle for last mile deliveries. The four wheel concept with suspension provided also a certain fun factor to the many test drivers and everybody was glad that the fuel cells supplies sufficient energy for all the test drives at the weekend. Thus, it was no surprise that even Baden-Württembergs prime minister Mr. Winfried Kretschmann mentioned fuel cell cargo pedelecs in his speech.
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FCCP at the International Cargo Bike Festival in Groningen

, MartiniPlaza, Leonard Springerlaan 2, 9727 Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands

For the premier of our first fuel cell cargo pedelec (FCCP) there could be not better event, than the International Cargo Bike Festival in Groningen. The event was visited by many experts and interested public and we where more than glad about the positive feedback. At the last day, the cargo pedelec "Armadillo" from Velove that was basis for our fuel cell cargo pedelec won the price for the best cargo pedelec.
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