Sustainable intralogistics, sustainable production: BMW Plant Leipzig receives hydrogen-powered industrial trucks and tow trucks from Linde Material Handling for use in BMW i production.

Leipzig, Aschaffenburg, 3 December 2013 – Linde Material Handling today handed over a fleet of four tow trucks and five industrial trucks with fuel cell hybrid drive to the BMW plant in Leipzig. As part of a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, these vehicles are powered by green-certified hydrogen and will be used for the supply of parts in body production of the BMW i. The Chair for Material Handling, Material Flow and Logistics (fml) at Munich Technical University is evaluating the field trial which is taking place under realistic production conditions.

The fuel cell will prevail as a key propulsion technology in intralogistics

Important steps forward

"With the H2 Intra Drive we are taking an important step towards making hydrogen-powered industrial trucks ready for industrial-scale production,” emphasized Theodor Maurer, CEO of Linde Material Handling, on the occasion of the handover. Recharging cycles, battery replacement and the maintenance of lead/acid batteries require relatively long downtimes for conventional trucks and thus reduce their productivity. By contrast, the fuel cell hybrid system used in these Linde vehicles can be refuelled within just a few minutes and requires relatively little maintenance. The resulting higher availability of the industrial trucks and tractors is particularly advantageous in multi-shift operation. Moreover, the energy recovered during braking is stored in the lithium-ion battery of the hybrid system and released once again during load peaks, while the fuel cell provides the basic power.


As Plant Manager Dr. Milan Nedeljkovic said: “Sustainability is a top priority for the BMW i. This applies both to the product and to the way it is manufactured. Therefore, fuel cell vehicles with certified green hydrogen as an energy carrier are just perfect for the BMW Plant Leipzig.” There, Germany's first ever indoor hydrogen refuelling station was installed in BMW i body production. Linde Gas set up the infrastructure and ensures the supply of hydrogen produced from renewable resources. The fml Chair at the Technical University of Munich will be evaluating the environmental sustainability and economic efficiency of the fuel cell vehicles in everyday use. The Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development is supporting the research project under the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (nip) with a sum of EUR 2.9 million.

Linde's top ranking

Linde Material Handling GmbH, a company of the KION GROUP AG, ranks among the world’s foremost makers of forklift and warehouse trucks and is the market leader in Europe. In addition, the company today offers its know-how, gained during decades of developing and manufacturing electric drive systems, to external customers for a wide variety of applications. As an international company, Linde Material Handling operates nine production and assembly plants in all important regions worldwide, and has a global sales and service network with offices in over 100 countries. In the fiscal year 2012, Linde Material Handling employed approximately 13,100 people worldwide and generated annual sales of EUR 3,132 billion.

For more information on how Linde can help your business, contact Linde Material Handling today.