The FM Logistics site in Neuville aux Bois, France, has been running a mixed fleet of traditionally powered battery-electric trucks alongside a newly introduced fleet of 10 machines running on hydrogen fuel cells since March 2015.
This pilot site for hydrogen fuel cells is the direct result of a collaboration involving partners Air Liquide, Hypulsion, Toyota Material Handling, Crown, Diagma and FM Logistic, and is supported by the European Union Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCHJU), which is supporting the use of hydrogen and fuel cells as a power solution for transportation for a lower carbon economy.
FM Logistic is a leading French third-party logistics company operating in 12 countries. With over 85,000 m2, the pilot site in Neuville aux Bois operates on multi-shifts and is typical of many large logistics companies working with multi-shift operations, which means they are looking for improved productivity with a focus on sustainable logistics. Fuel cells are a way to improve productivity, compared to running an operation on batteries, where time is lost when changing batteries at the end of each shift. To refuel the fuel cells takes a matter of minutes just like refueling a car with enough fuel to operate for 9-10 hours. Using hydrogen as a fuel supports low carbon sustainable logistics as well.
FM Logistic’s pilot project is up and running with a view to converting the site’s 84 forklifts into hydrogen powered fuel cell trucks, once the concept is fully proven. This would make this site the first logistics site in Europe to convert its entire fleet of forklift trucks to run on hydrogen-powered fuel cells.
Craig Walby, director of product management, Toyota Material Handling Europe, said, “We are proud to have worked on this project together with our partners to support making fuel cells work effectively in Europe. The partnership with truck, gas and fuel suppliers working together with the EU combines the relevant parties to deliver collaborative solutions to our customers. We are working with our partners to prove the concept with FM. Fuel cells using hydrogen as an alternative fuel has the potential to bring improved operational solutions for our customers whilst delivering a lower carbon future”.
May 1, 2015