From left to right: Dr. Dr. Magnus Buhlert from the Nds. Ministry for the Environment, Energy, Building and Climate Protection, Minister Olas Lies, Prof. Dr. Ludger Frerichs from TU Braunschweig, Dennis Boller from XPANSE Powertrain, Jürgen Akkermann, CFO Clean Logistics SE and Dirk Graszt, CEO Clean Logistics SE. ©MU

BETH2REX - Innovative vehicle concept

In the energy transition, it is important to electrify all processes and, where this is not possible, to switch to green hydrogen. Electrifying heavy-duty transport is still an enormous challenge due to the high weight and also the air resistance. The "Battery Electric Truck with H2 Range-Extender" (BETH2REX) project therefore aims to implement a completely new electric vehicle concept. The aim is to build five truck prototypes with battery-electric drive and fuel cell range extender.

For this project, the companies Clean Logistics Technology GmbH and XPANSE Powertrain GmbH as well as the Technical University of Braunschweig today received funding decisions totaling around 7.6 million euros from Lower Saxony's Energy Minister Olaf Lies.

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Energy Minister Olaf Lies: "We urgently need to reduce CO2 emissions in transport in order to achieve our climate targets. To do this, we need not only concepts in the passenger car sector, but also alternative drive systems for all vehicle classes - including freight transport. There is currently no manufacturer on the market offering medium-duty trucks with fuel cell electric drive as a production vehicle. But that's where we absolutely have to go. However, we don't need individual solutions or conversions, but a universally practicable concept. I'm pleased that a project from Lower Saxony is making headway here and that we can support it with state funding."

In a first step, the BETH2REX project will develop up to five prototypes suitable for registration with a scalable hydrogen fuel cell system as a range extender, which will then be tested practically in fleet trials. This type of vehicle can be used around the clock in urban and regional distribution transport thanks to its performance, zero-emission drive and, in particular, its low noise emissions. In addition, the project is intended to serve as a basis for series production in order to close the supply gap of zero-emission freight transport for medium-duty trucks as quickly as possible with vehicles that are ready for series production.

The total funding of around 7.6 million euros is divided into three funding decisions: XPANSE Powertrain will receive around 5.5 million euros, Clean Logistics Technology around 1.6 million euros and TU Braunschweig around 500,000 euros.