BMW and Linde Launch H2IntraDrive Fuel Cell Materials Handling Project

13 Dec 2013

BMW Linde 1

BMW’s plant in Leipzig, Germany has received five hydrogen-powered FC 25 and FC 35 lift trucks as well as four P30 FZ tow trucks from Linde Material Handling for use in the production of its BMW i vehicle platform. The fuel cell hybrid drive vehicles will be fuelled with carbon-neutrally produced hydrogen. The refuelling process takes only a few minutes.

This deployment forms part of a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and the vehicles 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.

BMW Linde 2“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.

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. The project aims to make hydrogen-technology ready for industrial-scale production.

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.


Source: Linde Material Handling

Images: Linde Material Handling

BMW Linde 3


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