H2 trucks in operational use

H2 trucks in operational use - analyses, status quo and fields of action for road haulage

Within this study, a consortium of Swiss transport companies and the Institute for Supply Chain Management at the University of St.Gallen are developing cross-fleet and internal deployment profiles and fields of action for the economical use of H2 trucks in Swiss road freight transport. The study was conducted over a total period of nine months in 2022.

The methodological approach of the study is characterized by an explorative approach and includes qualitative, semi-structured interviews with the consortium partners as well as joint workshops, which were used in particular for the iterative evaluation of the research results and the derivation of practice-relevant recommendations for action. The quantitative collection, processing and consolidation of real deployment data of H2 trucks as well as the performed non-hierarchical cluster analyses realized a determination of current deployment profiles of H2 trucks. This takes into account the diversified fields of application of the vehicles by the participating fleet operators.

Based on the cross-fleet deployment profiles, alternative deployment profiles were determined in a next step, which, taking into account the current "pay-per-use" business model in Switzerland, show a more economical deployment of H2 trucks. These deployment profiles include increased annual mileage of the vehicles, calculation of non-incurred road tolls (LSVA) for zero-emission commercial vehicles, and savings of annual CO2 emissions compared to conventional diesel-powered vehicles.

Related to existing deployment profiles, significant economic savings potentials for the deployment of H2 trucks in Swiss road freight transport could be identified within the scope of this study. An increased annual mileage of the respective vehicle allows cost savings of up to 12%P per kilometer. Tax benefits due to HVF exemption include up to 57'000 CHF/year compared to the use of a conventional diesel truck. In addition, up to almost 278 tons of CO2 can be saved per vehicle (cf. diesel truck Euro 6).

Duration: 2022


Thomas Friedli

Prof. Dr.

Associate Professor of Management with special focus on Production Management

Büro 0-236
Dufourstrasse 40a
9000 St. Gallen