The first waste collection vehicle with fuel cell technology for the Osnabrück district was presented at the AWIGO depot in Georgsmarienhütte today.

The AWIGO Group covers a total distance of around 3,694,425 kilometres a year with its fleet of 69 trucks throughout the entire Osnabrück district. That corresponds to around 92 circumnavigations of the earth. It is precisely for this reason that the waste management company is pursuing the long-term goal of operating in a climate-neutral manner for the people in the region. AWIGO Managing Director Christian Niehaves on the forward-looking developments: “As a regional company, we have the ambition to avoid having a negative impact on the environment or, alternatively, to offset any negative impact through our own actions.” Niehaves continues: “That’s why we are happy to invest time and money in innovative drive technologies. For an even more liveable Osnabrück district!”

A sustainable investment

The acquisition costs for the triple-axle truck amount to around 850,000 euros, of which almost 565,000 euros are being funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport as part of the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology. The funding programme is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ).

The regulated reaction of hydrogen with oxygen produces only water and no climate-damaging emissions. In addition, the vehicle operates using battery power, which results in it travelling quietly. This is what makes the alternative drive technology so valuable and interesting for AWIGO’s day-to-day business. “I am always pleased to see how much commitment and willingness there is towards supporting sustainability within the Osnabrück region. I therefore very much support AWIGO’s initiative to operate in a climate-neutral manner,” explains District Administrator Anna Kebschull.  “Our AWIGO is without doubt a role model for innovation and sustainability in its actions and business activities,” continues Kebschull.

More experience with every tonne

AWIGO’s logistics department will be extensively testing how suitable the technology is for everyday use and is planning a cautious introduction of the newcomer to the fleet: “We will first have to organise training courses for our workshop and driving staff. From March, we will then start extensive test operations. The infrastructure for hydrogen here on site, for example, could be challenging – there is currently only one refuelling station in Hasbergen in the district. I’m curious to see how that all works in practice,” says fleet manager Patrick Weber.

And of course, in addition to an expanded hydrogen refuelling network in the region, the availability of green hydrogen instead of grey hydrogen would also be desirable in order to be able to use the alternative drive technology sustainably from the very beginning, adds Niehaves. “We still need to be patient. But if we don’t meet the demand for hydrogen now, it’s unlikely that green hydrogen will be available in the near future.”

Until the end of 2024, the rear loader will therefore mainly be used on a trial basis in day-to-day operations and will not be included in regular route planning until 2025 at the earliest.

Caption: Eagerly awaiting the test results, Ralf Zöller (Managing Director of AWIGO LOGISTIK) (from left), District Administrator Anna Kebschull, Christian Niehaves (Managing Director of the AWIGO Group) and AWIGO Supervisory Board Chairman Bernhard Strootmann (far right) accepted the symbolic key and a certificate from Michael Steenken (FAUN Umwelttechnik vehicle manufacturer sales representative, second from right).


Source of original press release and image: AWIGO Abfallwirtschaft Landkreis Osnabrück GmbH