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Joining forces to find new paths for urban logistics


BETH2REX - what sounds at first reading like a dinosaur from times long past is in fact a forward-looking and thus very lively development. The abbreviation stands for Battery Electric Truck with H2 Range-Extender and is the title of a current funded project that aims to develop an electric commercial vehicle (truck) with a fuel cell range extender for urban city logistics. Funding for the extensive project comes from the Lower Saxony Ministry for the Environment, Energy, Construction and Climate Protection, coordinated by NBank. The funding comes from the Lower Saxony Hydrogen Guideline.

Together with the Institute for Mobile Machinery and Commercial Vehicles at the Technical University of Braunschweig, the Clean Logistics subsidiaries, XPANSE Powertrain GmbH and Clean Logistics Technology GmbH, will work over the next three years on the development of a new electric vehicle concept for trucks, specifically for swap body vehicles in the medium-duty truck class. The trucks will be equipped with a scalable hydrogen fuel cell system as a range extender or main drive. Up to five drivable and certifiable prototypes will be developed within the consortium. Within the project, particular attention will be paid to series production capability. Another requirement that the project initiators have been approached with from the market is cost efficiency. The goal is therefore to develop an affordable drive system in order to obtain an economical complete vehicle that can be quickly brought into series production through scalability. Close cooperation with experts in the logistics industry helps us to develop the right product for the market.

The reason for their commitment is simple: While the logistics industry is calling for suitable alternative drive systems for urban and regional distribution transport, it believes there is a lack of manufacturers whose products are tailored precisely to real-world requirements. There is a lack of overall concepts - closing this gap is the declared goal of BETH2REX.

But why fuel cell-electric, when there are already good application examples in the battery-electric sector? Hydrogen is considered to be the energy carrier of the future, it can and will increasingly be produced completely emission-free, as green hydrogen, in the coming years, it can be easily transported and quickly and easily refueled. So there are many advantages in favor of pushing ahead with research and development for precisely this vehicle class, the swap body vehicles, in addition to alternatives with battery-electric drives. Because, as our credo has always been: any vehicle, whether battery or fuel cell electric, that emits no emissions into the atmosphere is a good one and, above all, better than one with a fossil drive.