Inside the ShineFleet project: How Loop Energy is supporting the next wave of vehicles for the Spanish transportation sector

Europe’s logistics and transportation sector is one of the world’s greatest opportunities to reduce GHG emissions. Consisting of diverse markets, European fleet operators, manufacturers and governments are leading the charge to capitalize on this opportunity to decarbonize commercial vehicles.

One unique and advancing market is Spain, which published a Hydrogen Roadmap in 2020, echoing the European Hydrogen Strategy’s regulations and targets slated for 2024, 2030 and 2050. At the heart of Spain’s roadmap is a commitment to renewable hydrogen to encourage the creation of innovative industrial ecosystems, including its logistics sector.

One of the initiatives is the ShineFleet project, a consortium of Spanish technology, engineering and logistic companies committed to developing and evaluating the feasibility of hydrogen technology in commercial vehicles. A key consortium member, Avia Ingeniería selected Loop Energy’s fuel cell to power the pilot vehicle.

Here is what you need to know about the ShineFleet project, how hydrogen is shaping Spain’s transportation sector, how Loop Energy is supporting and what’s next for the project.

What is the ShineFleet project?

The ShineFleet project is an initiative focused on developing technological solutions for smart and sustainable mobility. As a result, a consortium of Spanish companies aims to produce a hydrogen-electric medium-duty transport truck. The project is supported and partially funded by the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI). Falling within the CDTI’s mission to establish sustainable and intelligent mobility, the project’s outcome is to produce an operational fuel cell-powered truck for trials and analysis.

Following the development of the truck, the project aims to evaluate the overall feasibility of operating a hydrogen-electric logistics vehicle. This will include understanding the Total Cost of Ownership, fuel storage challenges and the opportunities to consistently secure renewable hydrogen.

The consortium brings together a diverse range of Spanish companies committed to applying hydrogen technology in the transportation sector. Members of the consortium include Técnicas Reunidas, FM Logistic, Avia Ingeniería, Carbotainer, Cikautxo, Idneo and Fractalia. The project will also draw on the expertise of academic partners such as Universitat Politecnica De Valencia, Tecnalia, Complutense University of Madrid, Autonomous University of Madrid, National Hydrogen Center and Eurecat.

How is Hydrogen shaping Spain’s Transportation Sector?

Spain’s logistics industry heavily relies on trade routes serviced by over-the-road transport rather than rail or air like its European neighbours. The concentration of medium- and heavy-duty trucks means that there is a focus on developing zero-emissions commercial vehicles to decarbonize the sector rapidly.

While efforts to get vehicles up and running are underway, like many places in Europe, Spain is eagerly trying to secure renewable hydrogen to fuel future fleets. It is estimated a total of €1.5 billion will be allocated by the Spanish Government to boost renewable hydrogen production by 2023.

The private sector is also beginning to invest in renewable hydrogen projects. One of the most notable investments is the HyDeal España joint venture. ShineFleet member, Técnicas Reunidas, is part of the design team for what aims to be Europe’s largest integrated renewable hydrogen hub. HyDeal España is targeting to deliver carbon-free hydrogen as an alternate fossil fuels to range of industries looking to decarbonize across Europe.

How is Loop Energy Supporting the Project?

Avia Ingeniería engaged Loop Energy to provide an S300 (30 kW) fuel cell to be integrated into the truck prototype. Avia Ingeniería will manage the integration of technologies in the truck, working closely with Loop Energy to ensure seamless integration.

With TCO being a key evaluation metric for the truck, the consortium prioritized a technology that could deliver high levels of fuel efficiency. Loop Energy’s fuel cell will serve as a range extender for the med-duty truck, providing the vehicle with greater range to complete service routes.

Loop Energy has an existing relationship with Tecnicas Reunidas, having reached a joint market development agreement to accelerate the commercialization of hydrogen-powered vehicles. The agreement saw Tecnicas Reunidas become an ecosystem partner in Loop Energy’s total Customer Care Program. Tecnicas Reunidas is a global provider of services for investors in hydrogen infrastructure based in Madrid, Spain.

What’s Next?

The consortium is in the process of procuring components and technologies to begin manufacturing the truck in Q1 of 2023. Once complete, it is expected experienced fleet operator, FM Logistic, will trial the truck. By integrating the prototype vehicle into its service routes, the consortium will be able to understand the real-life challenges and opportunities for hydrogen-electric transport vehicles.