The HECTOR project (Hydrogen Waste Collection Vehicles in North West Europe) will deploy and test seven fuel cell powered refuse collection vehicles with the aim of demonstrating that the technology can provide an effective solution to reduce emissions from road transport in the north west Europe area.
Coordinated by the European association HyER (Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Electro-Mobility in European Regions) and supported by a €5.5 million grant from the INTERREG North West Europe programme, the HECTOR project was approved in January 2019 and will run for 4 years.
The effects of high levels of emissions from the transport sector on health and quality of life are now widely recognised. Decarbonisation of road transport is therefore a major topic of attention for all the pilot sites involved in the project.
Heavy duty vehicles such are garbage trucks are said to be responsible for an important share of local air pollution. Fuel cell electric vehicles, using hydrogen as a fuel, are one of the solutions enabling a complete decarbonisation of garbage trucks fleets in Europe.
The project will test the vehicles in normal operating conditions. The trucks will use existing hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. When possible, the pilot sites will use green hydrogen to fuel the trucks, thus maximising the emission reductions.
The seven pilot sites will cover a wide range of operational contexts. While some of the trucks will be operated in city centres, others will be tested in rural areas. Some of the trucks will collect municipal waste on a fixed schedule, other will collect industrial waste on a flexible schedule.
The trucks deployed in the project will range from container trucks to front arm loading trucks, both left- and right-hand drive. The HECTOR project aims at collecting operational experience from a number of different contexts.
Replication will be an important part of the project, paving the way for the deployment of more of these zero emission vehicles in the North West Europe area as well as in other parts of Europe.
“The HECTOR project is a great opportunity for the pilot sites in the partnership to reduce the emissions coming from their fleet of waste collection vehicles,” said Barney Crockett, President of HyER and Lord Provost of Aberdeen.
“With these real-life demonstrations, the HECTOR project will hopefully lay the ground for larger scale deployment of fuel cell refuse collection trucks in Europe. We also hope that other cities will be able to directly benefit from the learnings of our project.”
The first tenders for the trucks in the project have already been published and the first orders will be placed in the coming weeks. The first trucks are expected to be in full operation by summer 2020.
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