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Demonstration of FC material handling and industrial vehicles - FCH-01-4-2017
Deadline: Apr 20, 2017  

 Raw Materials
 Renewable Energy
 Urban Development
 Automotive Industries
 Sustainable Transport
 Clean Transport
 Urban transport

Specific Challenge:

Increased productivity powered by renewable energy sources is the primary motivation for the adoption of fuel cell and hydrogen technology in the material handling (MH) and industrial vehicles, e.g. municipal service trucks, markets. Regulations for indoor operations of vehicles and emission regulations for environmental zones in cities generate an increasing demand for zero emission drives for industrial mobile applications.

Promotion of both European based technology and commercialisation of hydrogen and fuel cells for industrial mobile applications are urgently required. Demonstrations MH vehicles fleets applying the latest fuel cell technologies should on one hand prove performance and reliability inducing customer acceptance and on the other hand enable cost reductions in fuel cell system and hydrogen infrastructure.

This demonstration project further aims, on one hand, to deploy, promote and benchmark the EU MH and industrial vehicle FC technology and value chain and on the other hand to evaluate the European market.

The topic is not intended to cover basic R&D on new FC systems. Demonstration shall comprise 400 or more fuel cell MH and industrial vehicle units across multiple vehicle-user sites and applications aimed at proving a commercial customer value proposition. Demonstration should include necessary and relevant support of small-scale and low-cost hydrogen supply infrastructure designed for 35 MPa and the hydrogen generated should be from renewable energy.

Proposals should include installations with typical fleet sizes of 10 to 30 MHVs per site which represents the majority of installations in the EU and in at least 6 sites. However large fleets with 100+ MHVs in one site can also be considered.

This demonstration project therefore aims, on one hand, to deploy, promote and benchmark the EU MH and industrial vehicle FC technology and value chain and on the other hand to evaluate the European market (in at least 6 different sites).


The project must cover the deployment and evaluation of an European FC system technology by vehicle-users in real operating environments of a series of at least 400 MHVs and industrial vehicles and the related infrastructure. The FC vehicles are to be implemented in different sites of logistic hubs, municipal service hubs, airports, etc. Projects are expected to cover top-level requirements and criteria for industrial-scale adoption and market entry such as:

  • Performance:
    • Optimised operating strategy for application specific drive cycle / load cycle (drive cycle efficiency, start/stop cycling)
    • Operation under application specific indoor / outdoor environmental conditions including cold / freezing ambient conditions, freeze start capability @ -20°C on system level
    • 98% availability in the fleet
    • > 10.000h stack lifetime in the field @ > 40 % end-of-life system efficiency
    • LCA (cradle to grave) of environmental performance of vehicles, infrastructure and energy source
  • Safety:
    • FC systems eligible for funding have to address specific European safety standards such as EN 62282-2:2012 Fuel cell technologies - Part 2: Fuel cell modules and EN 62282-4-101:2014 FC Systems Industrial Trucks Safety or EC79/2009 Hydrogen-powered Motor Vehicles as well as have to be CE marked or certified according to applicable EU directives for off-road and on-road vehicles and implements.
    • Safety criteria and concepts for indoor operation and refueling of trucks as basis for standardization shall be developed
  • Competitiveness (on TCO basis) in comparison to state of the art technologies (ICE, LA / LI battery):
    • Competitiveness to competing technology is to be achieved in the fleet per site;
    • Fuel @ 35 MPa
    • FCH JU project funding covers technology costs (FC systems, H2 infrastructure) which exceed state of the art technology on TCO basis (funding will take away vehicle-users risks of new technology and help ramp-up supplier volumes)
    • TCO comparison shall include investment, maintenance and service expenses, hydrogen consumption, disposal

The minimum operational period for any vehicle demonstrated in the project has to be at least 24 months. Project proposal evaluation benefits if synergies by using 35 / 70 MPa HRS implemented within the project also for other types of fuel cell vehicles like trucks, vans, cars, etc.

The focus of this topic is the demonstration of fuel cell system technology, including stack and BOP components, developed and manufactured in the EU.

Indicative funding:

The fuel cell system manufacturer / supplier should be in the position to offer the fuel cell systems to vehicle-users at a price that enables the user to reduce risks of operation. The funding per FC system may not exceed the maximum funding as defined in the following table:

System continuous power out put

Maximum funding in €

<3 kW


3 - 8 kW


8 -15 kW


>15 kW


Similarly, the installation costs of hydrogen infrastructure enabling the on-site production and supply of “green hydrogen” at a fuel demand <30 kgH2/d @ 35 MPa are eligible for funding. The funding per site may, however, not exceed 250,000 €.

The consortium should be representative for an European FC technology value chain including FC system integrators, FC system components suppliers (stacks, power electronics …), H2 infrastructure suppliers, MH and industrial vehicle OEMs and different vehicle-users.

End-users should be partner in the consortium or committing themselves to demonstrate a minimum of 200 MH and industrial vehicles at the start of the project. The commitment shall be secured by way of pre-orders or similar before signature of the Grant Agreement.

Techno-economic and environmental assessment of the project should be performed.

FC systems at commencement must be at least TRL 7 and targets TRL 8 or higher at the end of the project.

Any safety-related event that may occur during execution of the project shall be reported to the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), which manages the European hydrogen safety reference database, HIAD (dedicated mailbox

The maximum FCH 2 JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 7.5 million per project. This is an eligibility criterion – proposals requesting FCH 2 JU contributions above this amount will not be evaluated.

A maximum of 1 project may be funded under this topic

Expected duration: 4 - 5 years

Expected Impact:

  • Confirmation and promotion of value proposition of fuel cell and hydrogen technology in the MH and industrial vehicles (e.g. municipal services) sector
  • Creation and stabilization of Europe-based component and system production, suppliers network and value chain
  • Realization of cost reductions on system and component level
  • Ripening of European based technology for market entry in Asia and North America
  • Environmental benefits by using hydrogen generated from renewable energy and reduction of hazardous materials and waste compared to state of art battery technology
  • Emission reductions at logistic centers and cities by using "green hydrogen"
  • Strengthen the European industry, by creating knowledge in support of the EU growth and jobs policy agenda.

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