Hyster Europe has announced it is developing a zero-emission reachstacker featuring a hydrogen fuel cell for the Port of Valencia, as part of the European Horizon 2020 programme and H2Ports project. The port will be the first in Europe to incorporate hydrogen energy in its operations.

Jan Willem van den Brand, Director Big Truck Product Strategy and Solutions at Hyster Europe explains: “An on-board Hydrogen fuel cell will charge the battery on the forthcoming fully electric Hyster® ReachStacker. The technology will help evolve this industry into a low carbon and zero-emission sector.”

The demonstration site for the H2Ports projectwill be the MSC Terminal Valencia (MSCTV) in Spain, that can receive today’s biggest container ships and has 260,000 m2 of container stacking space.

The reachstacker is expected to enter operation in 2021, where it will undergo thorough testing handling laden shipping containers alongside several existing reachstackers.

H2Ports project

Hyster-Yale Group is participating in the H2Ports project alongside the Port Authority of Valencia, the Valenciaport Foundation, the National Hydrogen Center, MSC Terminal Valencia, Grimaldi Group, Atena, Ballard Power Systems Europe and ENAGAS. 

The project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint undertaking (FCHJU) which also includes the development of an electric yard tractor and the installation of a mobile hydrogen supply station.

A first – Reachstacker featuring a hydrogen fuel cell

“As the first of its kind, we expect the new Hyster® ReachStacker will be able to support continuous operations while providing zero emissions and achieving comparable full shift performance to a conventional IC reachstacker,” says Van den Brand.

The truck architecture incorporates electricity as the main energy source at high voltage to power fully electric motors.

“It has the potential to effectively support port applications with a heavy-duty cycle,” he says. “We plan to maximise uptime, minimise refuelling requirements and help applications to manage power consumption while complying with relevant environmental regulations and incentives.”

Zero emissions for container handling

“Achieving zero emissions for container handling equipment at seaports is a substantial challenge,” says Van den Brand.  “The highly demanding and varied duty cycles in these intense operations make battery recharging time a critical factor.  These and other technical limitations have obstructed the electrification of container handlers or large lift trucks until now.”

About the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU)

This public-private partnership is the European body that promotes the adoption of hydrogen as a low-emission alternative. It receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programmes, Hydrogen Europe Research and Hydrogen Europe.

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