One company, one goal: 100 percent renewable energy for all - from Germany throughout Europe. For now, the rest of the world will follow, as the GP JOULE Group is known. In just under 14 years since its founding, Ove Petersen (CEO) and Heinrich Gärtner (CTO) have created a multi-thematic range of services for sustainable energy supply from Reußenköge in North Frisia that is without equal. And now the hydrogen-powered trucks.
Green freight transport - it can be done!
It all just takes GP JOULE too long. That's why they're taking the whole thing into their own hands and boosting the H2 truck market. The eFarm project initiated by GP JOULE has been demonstrating for several years how to produce regeneratively generated green hydrogen, store it and make it available at H2 filling stations. Will the largest sustainable hydrogen mobility project in Germany now be followed by the largest hydrogen fuel cell truck project? It's not without reason that energy turners are an Energieküste partner with the title of "pioneer".
What drives you, Mr Petersen? "I am firmly convinced that our vision of '100% renewable energy for all' is possible. The technologies are there. We can supply ourselves with electricity, heat and hydrogen from renewable energies. And we can be mobile without emissions. But to do so, we have to make heavy goods transport part of the new, sustainable energy economy. We are working on this. Because whether we as a society achieve the energy transition is only up to us."
In January of this year, GP JOULE published a letter of intent to order 100 Class 8 "Nikola Tre" H2 tractor units (FCEV). 30 of the trucks produced in Ulm are to be delivered as early as 2024, followed by the next 70 in 2025. In August 2022, the innovative movers and shakers wowed the public with the announcement that they would take delivery of 5,000 40t H2-powered trucks from Clean Logistics, Winsen/Luhe, over the next five years. Currently the world's largest contract for the delivery of heavy hydrogen-electric trucks has a total volume in the low single-digit billion euro range. At the end of February this year, however, Clean Logistic SE filed for insolvency, but operations are continuing in the meantime. Investor interest in this innovative driver of the energy transition is unusually high, according to the provisional insolvency administrator.
Does GP JOULE also want to invest in Clean Logistics, Mr Petersen? "It is not an easy time for new manufacturers in the mobility industry and we hope that the state will soon recognise the innovative power behind these companies. In addition, we notice every day that customer interest in emission-free transport is great and growing steadily. Our wish for the many employees at Clean Logistics is that the company finds the right partner so that it can continue to work towards the goal that unites us all: decarbonising heavy goods transport as quickly as possible."
"Trust your Energy“
The company's motto is remarkably lived out at GP JOULE. Thus, the company is optimistic that it will be able to place its many heavy-duty vehicles with customers from the logistics and trade sectors. The green hydrogen infrastructure is, of course, also available. Customers willing to make the switch are offered an H2 full-service package. It includes the procurement of the desired fuel cell vehicles, their maintenance, the providing of the necessary filling stations with green hydrogen as well as assistance in financing and applying for subsidies.
Logistics for the advanced
In addition to the hydrogen-powered public transport buses that commute quietly and emission-free through North Frisia, GP JOULE can already point to other successes with heavy-duty H2 vehicles. Europe's largest kitchen manufacturer Nobilia is planning to build a local, emission-free H2 infrastructure together with GP JOULE HYDROGEN. This will include hydrogen production, a filling station and vehicle provision. Step by step, Nobilia's approximately 200 conventionally powered tractor units are to be replaced in sustainable vehicles.
Mr Petersen, what will the share of hydrogen-powered freight transport look like in five years? "We will see many more hydrogen refuelling stations, the network will become more dense and the advantages of hydrogen trucks will become more visible: emission-free, long ranges, short refuelling times. Add to that the growing supply of vehicles. I'm optimistic that in five years hydrogen trucks will still be something special, but nothing extraordinary on our roads - much like e-cars were a few years ago."