China: DHL tests hydrogen trucks

In Shanghai, China, the German logistics business DHL Express has started a hydrogen-powered freight truck experimental program.

The project aims to gather practical experience for promoting the use of hydrogen fuel cell heavy trucks in the logistics industry as well as to verify the effectiveness of hydrogen fuel technology in heavy trucks in actual operation.

The parent business of DHL Express, Deutsche Post DHL Group, published a new sustainability strategy with medium- and long-term objectives and an action plan around ESG in March 2021. (Environmental, Social, and Governance). The Group wants to electrify 60% of its pick-up and delivery vehicles used for ground operations by 2030. In addition to meeting its overall deadline, DHL Express is dedicated to obtaining a 30% share of long-haul vehicles in China that are powered by green fuel.

The four-week experimental program will deliver import and export express shipments across lengthy distances, covering a daily mileage of more than 140 kilometers, between DHL’s North Asia Hub at Pudong Airport and DHL’s Shanghai-Jiaxing Service Center on Jingtang Road.

In 2021, DHL Express and Apple conducted a test of hydrogen-powered trucks in the Benelux region. According to DHL, the new technology has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 35 tons during the piloting period.

“Sustainable and clean fuels are necessary for climate-neutral logistics in a globalized society. Line-haul road freight is just as important as air and marine freight in terms of lowering CO2 emissions, according to Alberto Nobis, CEO of DHL Express Europe.