More hydrogen-driven freight transport thanks to Clean Cargo Connect

Hamburg and Lower Saxony to boost decarbonisation of lorries
29 March 2023
Luftaufnahme des Hamburger Stadthafens

Hamburg and Lower Saxony have announced plans to replace diesel propulsion with hydrogen and reduce CO2 emissions as part of the EUR 32 million "Clean Cargo Connect" project. Around 40 per cent of all goods arriving in the Port of Hamburg in 2021 were transported by lorry across the hinterland. To this end, the Hydrogen Network Northeast Lower Saxony (H2.N.O.N) and the Renewable Energies Hamburg Cluster Agency (EEHH) have applied for EUR 15 million in federal funding from the HyPerformer II scheme.

Great potential for hydrogen in freight transport 

The "Clean Cargo Connect" project should increase the number of H2 refuelling stations between Hamburg and Bremen. The plans foresee five hydrogen refuelling stations for commercial vehicles and two mobile refuelling solutions. The German Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport is funding regional concepts for a hydrogen sector as part of the HyPerformer II scheme. A 2021 report entitled "Future Mobility-Load Transport with Green Hydrogen" noted the  considerable potential of northeast Lower Saxony for converting both load transport and public transport to hydrogen propulsion.

© H2.N.O.N
Map of projects

More than 150 H2 lorries by 2029 

Many renewable energy sources such as wind power, biogas and photovoltaics are available in northeastern Lower Saxony. The planned two-megawatt electrolyser will use these to produce green hydrogen and refuel over 130 lorries. The "Clean Cargo Connect" project includes freight forwarders who have purchased their first hydrogen lorries and lessors of hydrogen-powered vehicles. At least 30 fuel cell vehicles will be put on roads by 2026, and more than 150 hydrogen lorries are to be in operation by 2029.

HyPerformer II project strengthens emerging hydrogen economy

"We are convinced that Clean Cargo Connect will make an important contribution to the desired energy transition and strengthen Lower Saxony's links with Hamburg," said Frank Doods, State Secretary in Lower Saxony's Ministry of Economics, Transport, Building and Digitalization. Jan Rispens, Managing Director of the Renewable Energy Cluster Hamburg (EEHH), remarked: "A successful HyPerformer II project will allow us to strengthen the emerging hydrogen sector in the Hamburg Mmetropolitan Region and to accelerate the market ramp-up." The Clean Cargo Connect project involves a broad consortium of business and scientific institutions. The German government's decision on HyPerformer II funding is expected in April.