Coop in Switzerland launches lorries with fuel cells

In November 2016, Coop in Switzerland opened the country’s first hydrogen gas station. The company also rolled out the world’s first hydrogen-gas propelled trailer lorry. The 34-tonne lorry has a powertrain based on the PowerCell S3 prototype.

The fuel cell system is developed together with PowerCell’s strategic partner Swiss Hydrogen, which has integrated the system in the lorry.

“I’m proud that our PowerCell S3 is in place. This is a major step forward and our cooperation with Swiss Hydrogen is beginning to show results. Now we’re helping Coop to make their transport completely fossil-fuel free,” said Per Wassén, President of PowerCell Sweden AB, in conjunction with the presentation.

The electrified lorry has a fuel cell system that is based on the PowerCell S3 (100kW) prototype. The system was installed and developed by Swiss Hydrogen.

“It’s a great honour for Swiss Hydrogen to deliver the first fuel cell system for Coop’s lorries, and we look forward to our continued cooperation. The efficiency and performance achieved through integration with the stack from PowerCell is a clear milestone for the logistics company in terms of fossil-fuel free transport,” said Alexandre Closset, CEO of Swiss Hydrogen SA.

The need for climate-neutral transport has led automotive manufacturers and distributors to start to electrify their vehicles. After completion of tests, Coop’s ambition is to gradually replace its entire vehicle fleet with fuel-cell propelled lorries. Coop will also set up its own hydrogen gas stations close to its distribution centres.

“We want to speed this up and ensure that this pioneering technology is successful,” said Joos Sutter, CEO of Coop in Hunzenschwil.

PowerCell S3 is compact and developed especially for the automotive industry, to fulfil the high requirements in this sector. PowerCell S3 runs on pure hydrogen gas and with high efficiency, which gives competitive advantages compared to other fuels. The stack is for 100 kW, which is equivalent to 134 hp. Since the system is scalable, the stacks can be parallel connected, to give several hundred hp.