Launch of H2IntraDrive project: Sustainable intralogistics, sustainable production

BMW Plant Leipzig receives hydrogen-powered industrial trucks and tow trucks from Linde Material Handling for use in BMW i production

The tow trucks and fork lift trucks with fuel cell hybrid drive are fuelled with carbon-neutrally produced hydrogen. The refueling process takes only a few minutes.

Linde Material Handling today handed over a fleet of four tow trucks and five industrial trucks with fuel cell hybrid drive to the BMW plant in Leipzig. As part of a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, these vehicles are powered by green-certified hydrogen and will be used for the supply of parts in body production of the BMW i. The Chair for Material Handling, Material Flow and Logistics (fml) at Munich Technical University is evaluating the field trial which is taking place under realistic production conditions.

“The fuel cell will prevail as a key propulsion technology in intralogistics. With the H2IntraDrive we are taking an important step towards making hydrogen-powered industrial trucks ready for industrial-scale production,” emphasized Theodor Maurer, CEO of Linde Material Handling, on the occasion of the handover. Recharging cycles, battery replacement and the maintenance of lead/acid batteries require relatively long downtimes for conventional trucks and thus reduce their productivity. By contrast, the fuel cell hybrid system used in these Linde vehicles can be refuelled within just a few minutes and requires relatively little maintenance. The resulting higher availability of the industrial trucks and tractors is particularly advantageous in multi-shift operation. Moreover, the energy recovered during braking is stored in the lithium-ion battery of the hybrid system and released once again during load peaks, while the fuel cell provides the basic power.

They aim to make hydrogen-technology ready for industrial-scale production – the repre-sentatives of the H2IntraDrive project partners and the funding authority: Dr. Veit Steinle (department head Environmental Policy and Infrastructure, German Federal Ministry of Transport) , Theodor Maurer (CEO Linde Material Handling), Prof. Dr. Willibald A. Günthner (fml Chair, TU Munich), Dr. Michael Ströbel (Manager Valuestream Planning Painted Body, BMW Group).

As Plant Manager Dr. Milan Nedeljkovic said: “Sustainability is a top priority for the BMW i. This applies both to the product and to the way it is manufactured. Therefore, fuel cell vehicles with certified green hydrogen as an energy carrier are just perfect for the BMW Plant Leipzig.” There, Germany’s first ever indoor hydrogen refuelling station was installed in BMW i body production. Linde Gas set up the infrastructure and ensures the supply of hydrogen produced from renewable resources. The fml Chair at the Technical University of Munich will be evaluating the environmental sustainability and economic efficiency of the fuel cell vehicles in everyday use. The Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development is supporting the research project under the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (nip) with a sum of EUR 2.9 million.

Linde Material Handling handed over five industrial trucks FC 25 and FC 35 respectively as well as four tow trucks P30 FZ to the BMW plant in Leipzig, which will be used for the supply of parts in the body production of the BMW i.

The energy recovered during braking is restored to the lithium-ion battery of the fuel cell hybrid system and released during load peaks. The fuel cell provides the basic power.