In the BMW Group plant in Leipzig, BLG LOGISTICS has put 37 fuel cell industrial trucks into operation. They will fill up at the fourth on-site hydrogen filling station, which started pumping fuel to coincide with the Central Germany Hydrogen Summit in May. The globally operating logistics company based in the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen is responsible for production supply for the BMW Group in Leipzig. The move is an important contribution to BMW's vision of a "green factory" with zero-carbon production.
Green hydrogen is considered a vital component for achieving the Paris climate goals. It can store renewable energy and convert it on demand into electricity and heat via fuel cells. This is how fork-lifts, cars, trucks and even trains can run without CO2 emissions.
"Counting BLG's 37 industrial trucks, we use a total of 118 hydrogen vehicles in our Leipzig plant. That's the largest hydrogen-driven logistics fleet in Germany. Right from the start, the BMW Group plant in Leipzig was committed to exclusively using certified green hydrogen," says Kai Lichte, Head of Communications at the BMW Group plant in Leipzig.
The advantages of the H2 industrial trucks are clear: They are locally emission-free and fueling is fast, easy and space-saving.
Ambitious climate protection goals
"When the BMW Group asked us to replace around 40 of our almost 200 industrial trucks at their plant with hydrogen models, we quickly agreed," says Markus Niemeier, Head of the BLG location in Leipzig. He adds: "Sustainability is also a top priority for our company."
With its "Mission Climate", the BLG Group has set itself ambitious goals. The company aims to be climate-neutral by 2030. This makes BLG the first German logistics service provider with a scientifically recognized climate protection goal. "Using emission-free industrial trucks ultimately powered by green energy and integrating renewable energies are key elements of our climate protection program," says Jakub Piotrowski, Head of Digitalization, Sustainability and IT at the BLG Group. Leipzig is the first BLG LOGISTICS location to use hydrogen fork-lifts. On a logistics area of approx. 200,000 m² in the BMW Group plant, BLG supplies services along the entire supply chain, from goods receipt to warehouse management, sequencing and picking, production line supply and empties handling. The company controls supplies for the auto producer's conventional models at its Leipzig plant. It processes all components for daily production.
Fork-lifts, reach trucks, electric pallet trucks
In cooperation with Günsel Fördertechnik und Fahrzeugbau GmbH, the rental company for the new industrial trucks, BLG LOGISTICS has started operating the first 37 fork-lifts, reach trucks, electric pallet trucks and route vehicles in the Supply Center South, a pre-assembly area. Günsel is responsible for the entire H2 fleet at BMW Leipzig. "We've been expanding our portfolio of hydrogen industrial trucks from the manufacturer Linde since 2013. In Leipzig and other locations, we've gained important experience with this alternative drive technology," says Toralf Richter, Head of Sales at Günsel Fördertechnik und Fahrzeugbau GmbH. "Drawing on this expertise, we can today offer complex application concepts with green hydrogen, also for other industries. That's how we're contributing to the decarbonization of production and logistics processes."