Hödlmayr converts to hydrogen propulsion

At the latest in 2026, the first trucks with fuel cell technology will be in use in Schwertberg.

Diesel trucks are the most tax-privileged stinkers in the country and have to defend criticism from not only environmentalists. The Schwertberg company Hödlmayr is therefore changing directions. “We will test the hydrogen technology”, states CFO Robert Horvath. The 45-year-old estimates that at the earliest in 2024, at the latest in 2026, the first fuel cell trucks will be on the road for the logistics company.
Searching for truck manufacturers
The truck manufacturer receiving the contract has not yet been determined. “It's a head-to-head race”, says the Schwertberg resident. But one thing is clear: Hyundai, for example, is concentrating on the development of the new technology for short range, while Daimler Trucks have the “long range” in view. Whereby, according to Horvath, the range with a tank should be at least 700 kilometres, but 1000 kilometres or more is even better.
At these distances, the through-routes in Austria, Germany and Eastern Europe would have to have hydrogen filling stations. “With OMV we have a partner that is strongly represented in these areas”, says the Upper Austrian native. Therefore, this project will be conducted in close cooperation with OMV.
In addition, Horvath hopes for the support of the state - key word: start-up financing. Currently, a hydrogen truck is six to eight times more expensive than a diesel truck. And a diesel model costs an average of 120,000 euros.
600 Hödlmayr trucks are currently criss-crossing Europe. When the new technology is available, six to eight fuel cell powered trucks will be acquired. “For long range", say the CFO. They want to gain experience with the new technology.
In addition, purely battery-powered electric models will be used, but only for short-range trips. “Batteries don't make sense for long range, because the permitted payload would be drastically reduced.”