NOW has established a new organization to support the fuel cell industry in Germany. Wolfgang Axthammer, one of the company’s two managing directors and head of its Special Markets program, confirmed that the first general meeting of the Clean Intralogistics Net, a network of fuel cell businesses and institutions that deal with the logistics side of the industry, took place on May 30, 2017, in Berlin. The network is the first “innovation cluster” based on NIP 2. The spokesperson for the new group is Hannes Schöbel from Linde Material Handling, with Franz Geyer from carmaker BMW serving as deputy. The group’s other business members are Air Liquide Advanced Technologies, Bosch Engineering, Daimler, ElringKlinger, Fronius Deutschland, Heraeus Fuel Cells and Jungheinrich.
The Clean Intralogistics Net, or CIN for short, was introduced on Nov. 3 last year, at an international workshop focused on industrial fuel cell trucks and organized in partnership with the German association of machinery and equipment suppliers. Another workshop on the same subject, titled “Status quo and Outlook,” took place in Stuttgart on Sept. 27 of this year. The emphasis on industrial trucks makes sense, since efficient fuel cells could cut these trucks’ CO2 emissions by at least 25 percent, up productivity and lead to significantly reduced charging times and less of a need for warehouse space.
Axthammer added, “CIN concentrates on hydrogen and industrial fuel cell trucks for intralogistics [forklifts, tugs and materials handling equipment]. This will require cooperation between fuel cell producers, industrial truck and tug manufacturers, gas suppliers and logistics businesses. We have all that planned out already.” In a press release, NOW said that to “tap the potential of Europe’s mass market for vehicles in materials handling, experts believe that we will need around 1,000 industrial trucks at a minimum of 20 locations by 2025. The industry foresees Europe-wide sales of 20,000 units per year from then onward.”