Under the name VeH2Dem, the project envisages the transformation of a conventional diesel truck into a prototype powered by a fuel cell system that should be operational for demonstration in 2025.
EVARM, engineering expert in the conversion of commercial vehicles to alternative fuels, PreZero Spain and Portugal, international provider of environmental services and Applus+ IDIADA, global partner of the automotive industry in product development through design, engineering, testing and homologation services, have created a consortium through a collaboration agreement within the framework of the innovation project 'VeH2Dem - Hydrogen Demonstrator Vehicle'.
As a result of this collaboration, the three partners will work on the development of an electric municipal waste collection truck prototype powered by a fuel cell system (FCEV), based on a conventional model powered by a diesel engine and bodywork according to the needs of the service it is intended for. This project is financed by the Renewable Hydrogen Value Chain Support Programme of the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE, its acronym in Spanish), within the framework of the NextGenerationEU European grants.
The project is expected to be completed during the first half of 2025 and will last 25 months. The project will end having reached a sufficiently mature technological level for the prototype to be able to carry out its task under real driving conditions, which will probably be a municipal waste collection service using side-loading containers.
The VeH2Dem project consists of a set of well-defined work packages, ranging from the definition of FCEV and fuel cell vehicle requirements, through design and integration tasks, prototyping, the definition of test procedures, to the final validation and demonstration of the fuel cell-converted vehicle.
Xavier Ribas, Director of EVARM, states that "we are very happy to participate in this project, developing and building an electric solution with Hydrogen Fuel Cell for heavy-duty vehicles that makes it possible to move from a diesel vehicle to a 0 emissions solution with hydrogen, efficient, and with fast charging and the necessary power for daily service".
Mónica Ramos, Director of Operations and Engineering at PreZero, says: "We design solutions focused on citizens, which improve their environment and the quality of life in cities. We currently have a fleet of more than 6,000 vehicles in Spain and Portugal that includes electric, hybrid, and natural gas solutions. Thanks to projects such as VeH2Dem, we will make solid progress in the use of hydrogen in order to have increasingly sustainable vehicles”.
Jordi Izquierdo, Head of Hybrid and Fuel Cell Powertrain at Applus+ IDIADA, comments that "this project is an important step in the development of hydrogen vehicles for a real implementation in the fleet of municipal waste collection service vehicles. What may now appear to be a purely experimental project is a breakthrough in the implementation of green hydrogen as a fuel, thus helping to reduce greenhouse gases and substances harmful to health in urban environments”.
This joint proposal by EVARM, PreZero and Applus+ IDIADA through the VeH2Dem project is a clear commitment to innovation and the adoption of new technologies to move towards more sustainable service models which, as in this specific case, will be key to meeting the national decarbonisation objectives that aim for Spain to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. In this sense, the development of hydrogen vehicles will encourage the creation of innovative industrial value chains and the generation of sustainable employment, contributing to the reactivation towards a green economy with high added value.