The HAWL and HyLIFT-EUROPE projects supported by the FCH JU deploying FC powered material handling vehicles are progressing quite well. The HAWL project recently added another 36 new hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts to the laready 10 in operation at the FM Logistic warehouse in Neuville-aux-Bois, near Orléans in the Loiret department. Among FCH JU projects, Neuville-aux-Bois is now the warehouse with the highest number of forklifts in operation, closely followed by Prelocentre in Sain-Cyr-en-Val, near Orleans (Loiret department), within project HyLift-EUROPE with units in operation since 2015 . Carrefour has announced that up to 150 hydrogen fuel cell forklifts will be deployed during 2017 in their French premises within this same project.
Ten older units had been put in operation in Denmark, Germany and Belgium in 2012-2013 within precursor project Hylift-DEMO.
France is leading European efforts towards demonstration and exploitation of the hydrogen fuel cell technologies in forklifts application, which have the potential of offering zero harmful emissions, long autonomy and short refuelling times. In addition, performance is hardly affected by low temperatures, making them the ideal solution namely in refrigerated environments such as fresh produce warehousing.Compared to the USA, where over 8000 units have already been deployed or planned, Europe remains behind in adopting the hydrogen fuel cell forklifts. Existing tax incentives in the USA are believed to allow for favourable conditions for the end user.