Freiburg, Germany Introduces 2 Waste Management Trucks Powered By Hydrogen Fuel Cells

The city of Freiburg, Germany now has two hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks that will be used by the city’s waste management company – Abfallwirtschaft und Stadtreinigung Freiburg GmbH (ASF). It’s estimated that by replacing two diesel-based trucks up to 60 tons of CO2 emissions will be saved annually. The company expects to replace another 14 diesel-based trucks by the end of 2023 – making a total of 64% of the fleet.

Steffen Bilger, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, stated: “Soon, 14 new waste collection vehicles will be in service in Freiburg: quiet and carbon neutral. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is supporting the project with over 8 million euros. Hydrogen and fuel cell technology is an important future technology for Germany as a location for business and mobility. This is how we have defined it in the federal government’s National Hydrogen Strategy. In the transport sector, hydrogen is certainly a sensible addition to battery vehicles, which are limited in performance and range, to achieve the climate targets.”

Just as with electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles are powered by an electric motor, drive with zero emissions, and are very quiet. In contrast to purely electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles can produce their own electricity while driving through the reaction of hydrogen with oxygen, without having to be connected to a power socket. This makes it possible to extend driving time and increase flexibility. The built-in battery system also makes it possible to store recovered braking energy and partially recharge the battery, making them ideal for use in day-to-day stop-and-go traffic.

Lord Mayor Martin Horn stated in a press release, “Freiburg will then have one of the largest fleets with alternative-powered refuse collection vehicles and will play a pioneering role in this area. This should make a significant contribution to the achievement of the climate protection goals of the city of Freiburg”.