Terberg has begun extensive testing of its first concept hydrogen-powered terminal tractor in the Port of Rotterdam following two years of development.
The machine, is now in operations at United Waalhaven Terminals, working amongst conventional diesel terminal tractors, pulling the same loads while being remotely monitored to collect a wide range of data.
It was developed in collaboration with zepp.solutions a tech scale-up that specialises in hydrogen fuel cell systems for various applications.
Rob van Hove, managing director Terberg Benschop, said: “Our ultimate goal is to offer excellent performance for heavy duty applications combined with favourable total cost of ownership (TCO).
“And we want to support our customers in achieving their sustainability goals. Our strategy is focused on providing flexibility to our customers, so they can adapt to their changing market environment.”
The YT203-H2 hydrogen tractor is built on the YT multifunctional platform, aiming to ensure the same ergonomics and comfort and the same robust resilience under tough working conditions.
According to the manufacturer, this platform provides the same easy maintenance and smart management features as in the new YT-model introduced last year.
Customers can migrate from stage 5 certified diesel engines to third generation electric drives and, whenever the tipping point is reached, to hydrogen fuel cell power.
The hydrogen terminal tractor, which is based on the recently introduced fully electric YT203-EV, stores energy in the form of hydrogen, enabling quick refuelling.
It is equipped with four 150 litre hydrogen fuel tanks containing 14.4 kg hydrogen, which is suitable for a full day of operation in heavy-duty applications.
The unit is designed to provide the same or more tractive power than diesel powered terminal tractors, but with zero emissions and without the noise of combustion engines.
The proof of concept at United Waalhaven Terminals in Rotterdam marks a big step from design studies to real-life validation. The project is being supported by the DKTI-Transport regulation of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
Currently, diesel still offers the best performance at the lowest costs, noted Terberg, although it lacks the sustainability of electric alternatives.
To ensure the hydrogen terminal tractor can be seamlessly integrated into an existing fleet it is designed to match the diesel workflow that is common practice in the logistic industry.
The manufacturer hopes that close collaboration with zepp.solutions in the coming years will result in a technical viable solution and a robust foundation for the commercial phase.
The tractor will be tested at a number of customer sites in different countries to learn more about its performance, behaviour and reliability, after which its design will be finalised.