Berto integrates 230 Hyliko trucks into its fleet

Berto integrates hydrogen into its Flexy Green+ offering through a 9-year lease of 230 hydrogen-powered VIs from Hyliko.

The Berto group has just made a triple investment by signing a nine-year lease for 230 hydrogen-powered trucks produced by start-up Hyliko. On the one hand, the carrier adds this energy to the low-carbon vehicle rental solutions of its Flexy Green offer. On the other hand, it is accelerating the decarbonization of its fleet by adopting hydrogen with a negative carbon footprint certified by carbon credit. Thus, by replacing 45% of its trucks with Hyliko model vehicles, Berto will decarbonize its entire fleet.

Finally, the Berto group is promoting and facilitating the Hyliko solution in its subsidiaries in France, Benelux, Poland and Slovakia. Indeed, it acts for the new manufacturer as a transporter of its raw materials and a maintenance service centre, thus increasing its turnover.

Pure hydrogen and biochar

At the origin of this approach is the collaboration launched by Adrien Berto, leader of the group, with Lionel Bertuit, director of mobility at Hyliko. The goal: to develop Hyliko’s hydrogen mobility platform. It is based on production by pyrolysis, or the chemical decomposition of biomass by heat. This pyrolysis enables the production of pure hydrogen, as well as a fertilizer: biochar. The latter is a residue that sequesters carbon. Thus, not only is hydrogen injected into the fuel cell or into the engine of a hydrogen-powered vehicle, but the carbon captured by biochar generates a carbon credit for the buyer of that hydrogen.

Hyliko’s “super green” hydrogen is produced by the pyrolysis of forest biomass, which also produces biochar, a carbon-rich fertilizer residue.

Note: the unrecovered forest biomass produced annually by French forests could fuel 250,000 trucks of hydrogen. Based on this estimate, Hyliko decided to be a producer-distributor of hydrogen and a manufacturer of vehicles powered by hydrogen from 26 to 44 t. “Our aim is to decarbonize transport through a disruptive technology that combines a hydrogen production and distribution platform and the full service leasing of heavy goods vehicles,” explains Lionel Bertuit for Hyliko.

Tons of hydrogen at local prices from 2026

For this, Hyliko acquired the technological license for hydrogen powertrain from the Swiss engineering laboratory GreenGT. In September 2023, it will launch four used Renault Trucks that will be adapted for hydrogen with 40 kg tanks at 350 bar of Plastic Omnium. “From 2023, we will buy used vehicles older than five years that will be retrofitted under the Hyliko Trucks brand,” continues Lionel Bertuit. We will lease them as ″Truck as a Service″ for a period of eight years. In addition, we are building public hydrogen production and distribution stations in France and Europe, the first of which will open in Île-de-France. »

“This will guarantee the eco-circularity of our hydrogen and will correlate its price with that of international markets”, stresses Lionel Bertuit. By 2024, this station in Île-de-France will produce 400 kg of hydrogen, or ten full tanks a day. A quantity that will increase with demand. The biochar produced will be resold to farmers. For 2030, Hyliko therefore targets 100 French and European stations powered by biomass available 100 km away and 1.5 million tons of COtwo sequestered per year and certified by carbon credit.

By 2030, Hyliko will have built 100 stations in France and Europe public production and distribution of hydrogen.

230 Hyliko Trucks for Berto

In this operation, Adrien Berto saw the opportunity for his company to “act in favor of its energy transition”. “Among our 5,000 vehicles, 500 trucks run on alternative energies, including electricity for a Renault Trucks E-Tech crane truck, a covered conveyor and a Volta Zero being tested for urban distribution”, continues Adrien Berto. Hyliko’s hydrogen technology and ecosystem are complex, but embracing them will decarbonize our fleet faster. And returning biochar to agriculture will make it a virtuous solution. Together with alternative energies from other partners, this will allow us to launch our Flexy Green ″+″ offering soon. The latter provides a long-term green vehicle, its associated alternative energy and its driver. So we ordered 230 Hyliko trucks for delivery by then. We will locate them in our six branches in France and Benelux at the request of customers”, concludes Adrien Berto.

Produced locally, Hyliko’s 350 bar hydrogen will have a price unrelated to the international market.

Creation of Hyliko Service Centers

Adrien Berto wanted to take delivery of his first Hyliko trucks to one of his branches in Ile-de-France, where the ZFE-m requirements would facilitate deployment and multiply feedback. The creation of teams of dedicated drivers, specialized mechanics and workshops adapted to these vehicles will allow the development of a functional ecosystem that can be duplicated in other regions.

Berto will include electric VIs like the Volta Zero that he tested in Flexy Green+.

The leader is also working closely with Hyliko to survey land to accommodate public hydrogen production and distribution stations and to make its branches the first Hyliko Service Centers. Swaps are also underway for the supply of biomass to Hyliko stations and then the delivery of biochar. “Each production of 400 kg of hydrogen must require a truckload of biomass every two days and generate a truckload of biochar every six days”, he estimates.

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