Heavy goods transport

Lorries, buses, trains and inland vessels are all vital in transforming mobility.

Converting vehicles to alternative climate-friendly drivetrains could cut transport emissions by more than a third. Heavy goods vehicles are decisive because they produce around a third of road transport emissions despite only accounting for ten per cent of vehicles.

The State of North Rhine-Westphalia intends to make it more economical to manufacture climate-friendly commercial vehicles such as lorries, vans and buses – and also make them more attractive in the market. The aim is therefore to reduce costs for both production and charging/refuelling infrastructure, which is why the State Government is supporting stakeholders with a number of measures:


  • The “HyTruck.NRW” and “1,000 Fuel Cell Buses” projects are bringing vehicle users and manufacturers together to create a better environment for both purchasing and manufacturing hydrogen-powered vehicles. After all, the “Hydrogen Roadmap: North Rhine-Westphalia” states that at least 400 fuel cell lorries and 500 hydrogen buses should be on the road in NRW by 2025. In the best-case scenario, this target will even be exceeded.
  • Appropriate infrastructure for every journey: workshops on cooperation and concepts for Green Energy Hubs (multi-fuel stations) are helping accelerate infrastructure development. In the future, these stations will likely only offer climate-friendly fuels, as this is the only way to create the charging and refuelling infrastructure for climate-friendly vehicles, as stipulated by the EU.
  • User workshops help vehicle users understand where electric commercial vehicles and hydrogen-powered lorries can be used. They’re also a great place to learn more about funding opportunities and challenges.


More goods on trains and ships

Rail transport is another important tool in transforming mobility. The percentage of goods transported by rail is set to increase by 25 per cent. Inland shipping is also increasing, as is the demand for powerful alternative drive systems such as fuel cells. They can be used in inland vessels and shunting locomotives and are also suitable for logistics at company sites and business premises. The State of North Rhine-Westphalia is also providing support in this area through various projects:


  • Hydrogen supply infrastructure is currently being built as part of the “RH2INE” project. The first hydrogen-powered inland vessels are set to start travelling up and down the Rhine before 2026.
  • A feasibility study is investigating how well shunting locomotives can be switched over to run on fuel cells. User workshops are helping companies better understand how to integrate hydrogen into on-site logistics. The aim here is to support companies in switching all types of vehicles to more environmentally friendly drivetrains.
  • The State Government is funding shore-side electricity infrastructure, which will supply anchored vessels with power generated from renewable energy sources. This will reduce CO2 emissions at ports and improve air quality.

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