Article from Actu transport logistique : "A coalition to develop the retrofit of hydrogen trucks"

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Actu transport logistique

31/01/2023, Grégoire Hamon

The H2 Retrofit Coalition

The H2 Retrofit Coalition was founded by J. Cantin, CEO of e-Neo, F. R. Le Tourneau, Chairman of Alice, B. Chauvet, President of Seiya Consulting and Vice-President of France Hydrogène, K. Vernier, Managing Director of EIT InnoEnergy France, T. Chamerois, Director of CSR, Sustainable Development and Urban Delivery at DB Schenker, J.-P. Riche, President of pHYnix, and M. Delpon, Green Hydrogen France 2030 Ambassador.

How can you industrialise the retrofit of hydrogen trucks, an activity that is still in its infancy?

This is the issue at stake during the launch, at the beginning of January 2023, of the "H2 Retrofit Coalition", an initiative by stakeholders in the transport sector bringing together shippers, transporters and logisticians, equipment manufacturers, retrofitters, financiers and leasers, politicians and public administrations.

Find €30-50 M

The H2 Retrofit Coalition was founded by several major players involved in the deployment of hydrogen energy, including the transporter DB Schenker, the conversion specialist E-Neo, Seiya Consulting (hydrogen consulting) and industrial groups such as EIT InnoEnergy France (EBA's industrial alliance for battery storage, EGHAC for green hydrogen and ESIA for solar photovoltaic) and pHYnix (independent producer of green hydrogen in Europe) or Alice (Industrial alliance for Competitiveness and Energy Efficiency).

By 2030, the Coalition aims to retrofit 10,000 trucks per year with hydrogen in France. To achieve this, it plans to attract €30-50 million in industrial investment, which will enable the creation of a network of retrofitters and maintenance garages capable of lowering costs through the increase in volumes. But it will also be necessary to get the support of shippers, capable of bearing the costs of more expensive transport, with an adaptation of the tax system and aid.

A more flexible solution for transporters

For Michel Delpon, Green Hydrogen France 2030 Ambassador, also a founding member of the coalition, "hydrogen is an industrial revolution that will mobilise part of the 54 billion euros earmarked for the reindustrialisation of France. The hydrogen retrofit solution will accelerate the decarbonisation of heavy transport and achieve zero emissions by 2050. Faced with the extremely high price of future hydrogen-powered trucks, retrofitting appears to be a more flexible solution for transporters.

Present at the launch of the H2 Retrofit Coalition, Anne-Laure Charpenet, Director of Transport Energy Strategy at Viaposte/La Poste, indicated that Viaposte would place an order for "at least one retrofitted truck" while also bringing on board some of its partner carriers. Indeed, it will take much more than one or two ordered models to really launch the sector.

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