Next Mobility Accelerator Consortium becomes part of the Maschinenraum innovation ecosystem

Hydrogen as an energy carrier for trucks

press release | 17.03.2021


The Next Mobility Accelerator Consortium, a strategic alliance of the family-owned companies MaierKorduletsch and Paul Group and the energy company Shell, joins Maschinenraum. In the shared innovation ecosystem from small and medium-sized enterprises for small and medium-sized enterprises, the companies want to further advance their work on the dissemination of hydrogen as an energy carrier in truck transport. From now on, this will be achieved primarily through exchanges with the more than 20 other member companies of the Maschinenraum, which together create the ideal environment for working on topics related to digitalization and sustainability.

The Next Mobility Accelerator Consortium is stepping up to solve the chicken-and-egg problem of spreading hydrogen as an energy carrier in truck transport: While the Paul Group – as a specialist in the conversion of commercial vehicles – will equip and market trucks with hydrogen drives, MaierKorduletsch, as an energy supplier in partnership with Shell, will ensure the development of the necessary tank infrastructure and logistics.

The consortium's co-creation project is to be further advanced in the innovation ecosystem Maschinenraum. This will be achieved not only through the numerous opportunities for exchange with the other member companies – in which, for example, strategies ranging from product development to recruiting are discussed – but also through the use of the co-innovation space in Berlin.

"The use of hydrogen as an energy carrier in transportation is environmentally friendly and ensures that climate protection plans can be fulfilled sustainably. In association with our partners, we are now defining the technology standards, can promote greater user acceptance and ultimately also create new job profiles," says Lorenz Maier, Managing Director of MaierKorduletsch. 

"Because only coordinated work along the hydrogen value chain will bring real progress to disseminate the technology, we have formed the Next Mobility Accelerator Consortium. Our commitment in Maschinenraum is now primarily to network and exchange ideas with other Mittelstand companies that are working on new technologies and their dissemination just as we are. We want to show our face," explains Bernhard Wasner, Managing Director of Josef Paul GmbH & Co. KG.

"The Next Mobility Accelerator Consortium proves that Mittelstand can play a pioneering role in forward-looking technologies as part of a network. Cooperation is simply the order of the day for German SMEs. With Maschinenraum, we provide the right platform for this," says Tobias Rappers, Managing Director of Maschinenraum.

About Maschinenraum:

Maschinenraum, a shared innovation ecosystem from Mittelstand for Mittelstand, unites German SMEs and family businesses to boldly shape the future. Already more than 20 family businesses – including Viessmann, Fiege Logistik, Dussmann Service and Paracelsus Kliniken – have joined Maschinenraum to jointly drive the digital transformation of German Mittelstand.

About MaierKorduletsch:

Offering customers the best solutions in the fields of energy, mobility and lubricants – that is the claim of MaierKorduletsch. In doing so, the family-owned company looks back on more than 100 years of company history and makes an important contribution to mobility in the region with its products.

At the same time, the medium-sized company is aware of its responsibility for the climate and took on a pioneering role in the industry early on. As early as 1995, MaierKorduletsch was awarded the Bavarian Environmental Medal. Since then, a number of sustainable developments have been driven forward. Today, the company wants to promote hydrogen as a solution for heavy-duty transport and make an important contribution to the energy transition.

With its existing logistics and experience in the retail and filling station business, including the corresponding locations, MaierKorduletsch takes care of hydrogen distribution in the Next Mobility Accelerator Consortium and ensures a secure supply together with Shell.

About Paul Group:

Paul Group is one of the European market leaders in the field of special vehicle construction with a professional commercial vehicle service and has thus developed into a successful global player. Every year, the chassis specialists carry out chassis conversions, axle modifications, frame extensions as well as special configurations on more than 1,000 commercial vehicles. Thus, Paul Group is particularly affected by the change to new drive systems. 

The motivation for innovative projects is the development of a pioneering role, the development of new business fields for the purpose of growth to secure the existence of the company as well as ultimately the securing of jobs. 

The expertise for battery electric series vehicles (BEV) with an electrified powertrain has been built up in recent years. Now the technical know-how is available and the next step to convert the vehicles for operation with hydrogen is the logical conclusion. A fuel cell converts the hydrogen into electrical energy and the electrified powertrain generates the locomotion. 

With the necessary support and suitable framework conditions on the part of politicians, the company is convinced that it can build up a sustainable business with H2 commercial vehicles now and in the coming years. A major advantage of the Paul Group is the holistic approach including service and spare parts supply for the H2 vehicles. The first models in the 12-18 t classes are scheduled for market launch in 2023.

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