As part of the H2Rivers HyPerformer region, the first municipality in the Rhine-Neckar district has set off down the path to zero-emission waste collection with hydrogen waste collectors.
Heidelberg’s waste collection service is receiving a waste collection vehicle with a hydrogen fuel cell drive. From Thursday, 16 March 2023, a portion of Heidelberg’s waste will be collected emission-free. This makes Heidelberg the first municipality in the Rhine-Neckar district to operate a hydrogen-powered waste collection vehicle.
The development of the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region with the ‘H2Rivers’ consortium will be funded in the amount of 20 million euros by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport as part of the national competition: ‘HyLand – hydrogen regions in Germany’ under the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP2). The funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ).
“We are forging a sustainable future in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region with our hydrogen model project”, said Dr. Doris Wittneben, Division Manager for Future Sectors and Innovation, Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar GmbH at the press event on 16 March 2023 at the Heidelberg Office of Waste Management and Municipal Cleansing depot. “Today the first hydrogen waste collection vehicle begins service, and soon more vehicles will join it. From 2024, the first hydrogen buses will start service in our region. Then people in the region will be able to experience hydrogen mobility for themselves.”
Gaining experience through practical application
In addition to Heidelberg, hydrogen waste collection vehicles will commence operation next in Ludwigshafen, and at some point during the year, in Mannheim as well. Through the use of the three vehicles, the goal is to gain practical application experience, minimize transport emissions sustainably and successively convert municipal fleets as well as other vehicle sectors to zero-emission drive concepts.
The new vehicle will be used for waste collection in the Heidelberg districts of Pfaffengrund, Bahnstadt, Weststadt and Kirchheim.
“Putting emission-free heavy-duty transport in the urban area on the horizon“
“With this important step of using hydrogen fuel cell technology for waste collection, we are increasingly evolving into a climate-neutral city. It enables us to envision creating emission-free heavy-duty transport in the urban area and ensuring clean air in our towns. Fuel cells is the technology of the future“, said Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner, Mayor of the city of Heidelberg at the launch of the hydrogen-power waste vehicle, manufactured by the Zöller-Kipper GmbH company.
Heidelberg’s Mayor for Climate Protection, Environment and Mobility, Raoul Schmidt-Lamontain, underlined: “The fuel cell drive offers the possibility of converting the fleet to emission-free drives for heavy-duty commercial vehicles as well. This is another crucial milestone in decarbonising the municipal vehicle fleet. The city is a role model of the mobility revolution with this new waste collection vehicle.”
Alexander Gehling, Programme Manager, National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology: “The city of Heidelberg already decided back in 2019 that hydrogen was a cornerstone of emission-free mobility. Since then it has participated in the H2River project under the HyLand programme, making it a flagship in Germany and Europe. Last October, the rnv signalled the project’s launch with the ordering of 40 fuel cell Range Extender articulated buses and the construction of a hydrogen refuelling station at the depot on Wieblinger Weg. The waste collection vehicle signifies the beginning of the next step.”
Photo: At the presentation of the symbolic key to the new hydrogen waste collection vehicle on 16 March 2023 (l-r): Raoul Schmidt-Lamontain, Mayor for Climate Protection, Environment and Mobility, Dr. Doris Wittneben, Division Manager, Future Sectors and Innovation, Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar GmbH, Mayor Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner, Markus Dautermann, CEO Zöller-Kipper GmbH, Pavel Diener, driver of the new Heidelberg waste vehicle, Jana Wissing, Head of Waste Collection at the Heidelberg’s Office of Waste Management and Municipal Cleansing, Sylvia Hafner, Head of Heidelberg’s Office of Waste Management and Municipal Cleansing, and Michael Ambruch, Zöller-Kipper GmbH Gerlingen.
Source of original release: City of Heidelberg
Photo credit: Philipp Rothe