Mercedes-Benz doesn’t only sell vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells; it also uses them at its production facilities. Since the start of June 2015, the firm’s transporter plant in Düsseldorf has been operating two forklift trucks which are powered by hydrogen fuel cell. The forklift trucks were manufactured by Linde Material Handling and are supplied on location at a mobile H2 filling station provided by Air Products. One of the goals of the project, which will continue to the end of 2016 and has been supported by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, is to increase the availability of the forklift trucks at the plant.
BMW has also taken a similar path: since December 2013, as part of the H2IntraDrive project, five fuel cell forklift trucks and four fuel cell haul trucks have been used to assist with the production of the i3 in Leipzig. Another demonstration project has been up and running since the end of 2014 at Gelo-Holzwerke GmbH in Weißenstadt. Here, a prototype from the Italian manufacturer Baumann is being used. Wolf-Christian Küspert, Managing Director of Gelo-Holzwerke, told the Frankenpost newspaper: “The company gave us the prototype for research purposes.”