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On the road together: 20 hydrogen-electric trucks drive the 5 millionth kilometer together



As the world of mobility prepares for a new era - with a focus on electric drives - a globally unique implementation of an initiative that relies on a cross-sector hydrogen eco-cycle has been underway in Switzerland for two years. Goal: The decarbonization of heavy transport. The 5 million kilometers driven so far with more than 4,000 tons of CO2 emissions saved show how successful this ecosystem is. 20 operators of fuel cell electric trucks - all Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell - celebrated this 5 millionth kilometer today. Politicians, as well as numerous personalities and those interested in this Swiss hydrogen mobility system, met in Olten.

Bell Food, von Bergen, Camion Transport, Coop, Chr. Cavegn, Denner, Emmi, Galliker, G. Leclerc, Havi, McDonald's, Mewa, Migros, Murpf, Nestlé, the Post, Rivella/Schöni, Schwab-Guillod , SPAR, VOLG and Gebrüder Weiss: The list of brands and companies that operate in Switzerland with at least one heavy hydrogen-electric commercial vehicle (36 ton trailers) reads like a who's who of the Swiss retail trade. and logistics industry.


They all met in Olten on October 15th to drive the 5 millionth kilometer together - with zero emissions, of course. Behind this globally unique achievement are Swiss pioneers who are working with a common goal: contributing to the decarbonization of road transport.


Politicians - including two members of the co-presidium of the Hydrogen Parliamentary Group, Maja Riniker (NR/AG) and Albert Rösti (NR/BE), - met in Olten with the partners and companies of this H2 ecosystem accompanied the trucks together over this 5 millionth kilometer.


Jörg Ackermann, President of the H2 Mobility Switzerland Support Association, says about this pioneering achievement: “We have been with numerous partners and visionaries over the past two or more years traveling at the rhythm of a start-up to prepare and implement this project. The 5 million kilometers already driven show that it works. We see this milestone in the history of mobility as the perfect moment and as motivation to further develop the H2 ecosystem. The ‘interim result’ also shows Switzerland’s unique starting position. This requires a dissolution of boundaries between industries and individual companies. You understand that such a mobility system can only be built in a network. Our credo is: 'It happens because we do it!' I admire everyone involved all the more for their courage and commitment to take this path.


The next generation of trucks is ready

The heavy H2 trucks that ensured this mobility milestone are the current models of the Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell, the first series-produced heavy commercial vehicle with fuel cell electric drive. The visitors to the H2 Trucker Meeting in Olten were also able to examine the next generation with a 4×2 and 6×2 truck.


Beat Hirschi, CEO of Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility AG:«Today, 47 heavy trailer trains travel a total of more than 10,000 km per day. This is only possible because all players in this hydrogen ecosystem stand together with the intention of only emitting water instead of CO2. For this I can only thank and give a big compliment to every single company and everyone who works on this clean cycle.»


Hydrogen ecosystem that is unique in the world – a Swiss pioneering achievement

Behind the five million kilometers and more than 4,000 tons of CO2 emissions saved stands an innovative ecosystem that has been built up in Switzerland in recent years by the private sector: by H2 Energy as a system innovator, by Hydrospider AG as Producer and distributor of green hydrogen, from Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility AG as importer and operator of hydrogen trucks and from the H2 Mobility Switzerland support association. This brings together 21 well-known Swiss companies that, together with Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility and Hydrospider, solved and are solving the chicken-and-egg problem, with today eleven public hydrogen filling stations in Switzerland (AVIA, Coop Pronto, AGROLA and Schwab-Guillod) and 14 leading ones Companies from retail, logistics and transport.


Green hydrogen – a key element of the energy transition

The basis for low-emission electromobility with fuel cell vehicles is green hydrogen, as is currently produced in Switzerland by Hydrospider AG at the run-of-river power plant in Niedergösgen. Hydrogen production began at the same time as the first hydrogen-electric trucks were put into operation two years ago. The hydrogen is transported by Hydrospider using high-pressure containers to the current eleven hydrogen filling stations in Switzerland.


Nicolas Crettenand, CEO of Hydrospider AG:«Green hydrogen will play an indispensable role in the energy transition and decarbonization. Hydrogen can replace the fossil fuels mainly used today, particularly in the area of heavy goods vehicles. These 5 million kilometers make us very happy, but at the same time they have challenged us. The hydrogen-electric trucks drive so much and so reliably that we have to expand production as quickly as possible and thus create the conditions for further growth on the production side.»


The second production facility in Switzerland will be put into operation before the end of the year by SAK (St. Gallisch-Appenzellische Kraftwerke) and Osterwalder St. Gallen (AVIA). With it, an important goal of the eco-cycle is increasingly coming to fruition: the development of decentralized production of green hydrogen. This further reduces the transport distances between production and hydrogen filling stations.


Patrick Huber, VRP of H2 Energy Holding AG: «The Swiss hydrogen ecosystem and this joint effort by all players is receiving attention worldwide. The concordance achieved with the companies in the H2 Mobility Switzerland support association is unique and a typical Swiss success story. In the European and global context, this model is seen as proof that the hydrogen cycle can be implemented in practice. This has an impact that should not be underestimated on the immense investments currently being made in Europe and worldwide for the production of green hydrogen and the development of H2 ecosystems. It will now be crucial to create the right framework conditions in order to be able to further scale this successful start and to demonstrate that hydrogen technology will make its contribution to the implementation of the energy transition.»

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