A European project to help build a market for zero-emission, long-distance distribution trucks using hydrogen fuel cell technology has been launched.

Led by Belgian hydrogen association WaterstofNet, the H2Share project will see a 27-tonne electric, fuel cell-extended rigid truck built by Dutch vehicle manufacturer VDL.

Alongside this, a low-energy, mobile hydrogen refuelling system will be built by German firm Wystrach.

The zero-emission truck and mobile refuelling technology will be put on trial in six locations across Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

H2Share’s ambition is to deliver proof of readiness of hydrogen technology for heavy duty applications in real-life operations.

Based upon the trials and cooperation with sector-related associations, a joint roadmap for zero-emission HGVs in north-west Europe will be developed and cooperation with other EU regions initiated.

The project, which runs until March 2020, wants to promote knowledge sharing between regions and stimulate technology and market development in north west Europe.

California has also announced plans this week to build the business case for hydrogen HGVs through a new modelling tool.