Lidl opens the first logistics platform in Europe to use renewable green hydrogen, thanks to its partners Lhyfe and Plug Power
Nantes, 30 March 2022. As part of its energy transition, the grocery store chain Lidl has inaugurated its new logistics platform in Carquefou (Loire-Atlantique, France). Working in association with expert firms such as Lhyfe and Plug Power, Lidl has introduced a fleet of warehouse trucks running on renewable green hydrogen.
LIDL MARKS ANOTHER STEP FORWARD IN ITS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT APPROACH Over the last ten years and more, Lidl has invested to modernize its infrastructure and improve its environmental performance. In 2021, the chain decided that the handling and lifting vehicles of its Carquefou platform would be powered by green hydrogen. The platform in Carquefou, north of Nantes, is the first logistics platform to choose green hydrogen for the running of its warehouse trucks. Some 98 warehouse trucks (80% of the logistics fleet) have been running on renewablegreen hydrogen since January 2022. Lidl sources its renewable green hydrogen from Lhyfe, a pioneer in the production of hydrogen from renewable and local energy sources, since the Lhyfe plant is located a few dozen kilometres from Carquefou. The availability of this green hydrogen, which is produced from seawater and renewable electricity, was the condition for carrying out this project which avoids using fossil fuels or electricity to power the vehicles. Lidl thus has a local energy solution that combines ecological advantages and logistics performance.
HYDROGEN TO OPTIMIZE LOGISTICS > Filling a hydrogen truck takes just two to three minutes whereas a lead-acid battery takes several hours to charge. High availability of hydrogen vehicles (97% of the time compared to approximately 50% with lead-acid technology) means that the platform can save on parking space in the vehicle charging area. > Three hydrogen refuelling points are sufficient for all of the warehouse trucks at the site. No dedicated space for charging is therefore needed. > The performance and autonomy of warehouse trucks is constant throughout the life of the hydrogen fuel cell. The productivity of logistics operators is not dependent on battery age as could be the case with a lead-acid battery.
RENEWABLE GREEN HYDROGEN TO HELP THE ENVIRONMENT > Green hydrogen makes it possible to substantially decarbonize operations. It is produced from renewable energies and emits no CO2 or particles, either during its manufacture or its use. > The lifespan of fuel cells is ten years, which is greater than that of lead-acid batteries (three to five years), so they need renewing less frequently than conventional vehicle batteries.
AN AMBITIOUS PROJECT CARRIED OUT THANKS TO THE SUPPORT OF EXPERT PARTNERS To accompany Lidl in the realisation of this project, the companies Lhyfe, Plug Power, HRS and Jungheinrich worked together closely to provide a tailor-made solution adapted to the needs of the Carquefou platform (preparation of classified installation application, design and implementation of indoor and outdoor equipment, adaptation of vehicles for hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen needs forecast, etc.).
Plug Power is a pioneer of the hydrogen fuel cell for the operation of warehouse trucks. More specifically, Plug Power, in collaboration with HRS and Jungheinrich, supplied the equipment needed to implement the hydrogen solution. Plug Power will also carry out the maintenance of all equipment on site.
Lhyfe is a world pioneer and pure player in green hydrogen. As a green hydrogen producer, it delivers renewable, local hydrogen made 75 kilometres from the Lidl platform. To make this hydrogen, Lhyfe uses wind and water. A neighbouring wind farm supplies electricity while water is pumped in small quantities from the sea and then desalinated and purified. The electrolyser then separates the elements that make up water (hydrogen and oxygen) to produce green renewable hydrogen.
Lhyfe will guarantee the supply of the renewable green hydrogen necessary to operate the warehouse trucks, which represents 75 kilos a day at the platform’s busiest times. This large purchase volume – Lhyfe’s plant was producing 300 kilos at the end of 2021 and will produce a tonne a day by the end of 2023 – means Lidl is contributing to the development of the first French company producing green hydrogen. 2022 IS ONLY THE START FOR GREEN HYDROGEN AT LIDL In parallel, Lidl is already studying the possibility of developing green hydrogen as a solution to optimize its logistics and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. In the medium term, Lidl plans to deploy green hydrogen trucks at other logistics platforms or even use it to power part of its fleet of delivery trucks. Gregory Podda, Head of Logistics, Lidl France
“Lidl is proud to be opening in Carquefou the first logistics platform in Europe to operate with green hydrogen thanks to its partners Plug Power, which adapted the warehouse trucks, and Lhyfe whose green hydrogen production plant is 75 kilometres from our site. With 98 warehouse trucks in operation and a delivery truck to come in 2022, Lidl believes in the future of green hydrogen for optimizing its logistics and lowering its CO2 emissions in keeping with its commitments”.
Julien Saleix, Regional Sales Manager, Plug Power
“Hydrogen technology for handling vehicles is mature, deployed at 165 sites around the world and on more than 50,000 machines for the productivity gains that it brings. For the first time, the hydrogen used here is green, renewable hydrogen – Lidl is developing a more sustainable energy model. This Carquefou site integrates economic aspects and ambitious environmental objectives.”
Matthieu Guesné, CEO and founder of Lhyfe
“We are delighted with this partnership, which perfectly illustrates the multiple business interests – both in terms of responsibility and practicality – in switching to renewable green hydrogen. Following the transportation industry and public operators, Lidl is paving the way for renewable hydrogen in the world of logistics, transport and the private sector. This is a very promising turning point for energy transition”.
For all enquiries, please contact the press officer. Press contacts: Isabelle Schmidt - Head of Communications, Lidl France - +33 (0)1 56 71 37 26 - firstname.lastname@example.org Clémence Rebours - Nouvelles Graines for Lhyfe - +33 (0)6 60 57 76 43 - email@example.com About Lidl France: With 1570 supermarket stores and 40,000 staff, Lidl France is a unique retail concept focused on convenience and a no-frills offering. Since 2012, the chain has been modernizing its outlets while at the same time taking into account ecological transition. Lidl owns 80% of its real estate, giving it a broader scope of action. To support local production, Lidl offers a selected assortment of products of which 72% are made in France. This model has enabled Lidl France to differentiate itself and become popular with French customers. More information on Lidl France’s sustainable transport commitment is available here. About Lhyfe: Founded in 2017 in Nantes, Lhyfe produces and supplies green and renewable hydrogen for transportation and industry. Its production sites make it at last possible to source renewable hydrogen in industrial quantities and to deploy a virtuous energy model with an environmentally friendly focus. Lhyfe already has entities in ten countries, including Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands, and will have in the region of 100 staff by the end of 2022. The company is a member of France Hydrogène and Hydrogen Europe. Lhyfe inaugurated its first green hydrogen production plant in September 2021. It already has 91 projects underway in France and Europe, with several key milestones due to be achieved in 2022, such as the inauguration of a first offshore hydrogen production demonstrator and the laying of several foundation stones for new onshore production facilities. For constant access to Lhyfe media kit, click here. About Plug Power Inc.: Plug Power is building the hydrogen economy as the leading provider of comprehensive hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) turnkey solutions. The Company’s innovative technology powers electric motors with hydrogen fuel cells amid an ongoing paradigm shift in the power, energy, and transportation industries to address climate change and energy security, while providing efficiency gains and meeting sustainability goals. Plug Power created the first commercially viable market for hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) technology. As a result, the Company has deployed over 50,000 fuel cell systems for e-mobility, more than anyone else in the world, and has become the largest buyer of liquid hydrogen, having built and operated a hydrogen highway across North America. Plug Power delivers a significant value proposition to end-customers, including meaningful environmental benefits, efficiency gains, fast fueling, and lower operational costs. Plug Power’s vertically integrated GenKey solution ties together all critical elements to power, fuel, and provide service to customers such as Amazon, BMW, The Southern Company, Carrefour, and Walmart. The Company is now leveraging its know-how, modular product architecture and foundational customers to rapidly expand into other key markets including zero-emission on-road vehicles, robotics, and data centers.