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French company pilots fuel cell trucks

Wednesday, 6 May 2015 ( #717 ) - Neuville Aux Bois, France
News Story
A pilot fleet of fuel cell-powered trucks has started to operate since March at Neuville Aux Bois.
A mixed fleet of battery-electric trucks is running alongside a newly introduced fleet of 10 reach trucks and powered pallet trucks running on hydrogen fuel cells at FM Logistic’s site in Neuville Aux Bois, France.

The pilot site for hydrogen fuel cells is the result of a collaboration involving Air Liquide, Hypulsion, Toyota Material Handling, Crown, Diagma and FM Logistic.

FM Logistic is a French third-party logistics company operating in 12 countries. With over 85,000 sqm (914,932 sqft.), the pilot site in Neuville operates on multi-shifts.

Craig Walby, director of product management for Toyota Material Handling Europe, says: "The partnership with truck, gas and fuel cell 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 (have) the potential to bring improved operational solutions for our customers whilst delivering a lower carbon future."

FM Logistic´s site is typical of many large logistics companies which are working with multi-shift operations, which means they are looking for improved productivity with a focus on sustainable logistics.

This pilot project at FM 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 the site the first logistics site in Europe to convert its entire fleet of forklifts to run on hydrogen-powered fuel cells.

This program is supported by the European Union Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCHJU), which supports the use of hydrogen and fuel cells as a power solution for transportation.
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