“Sustainability is a top priority at BMWi (now BMWK), and that applies to the product as much as to production.”

Dr. Milan Nedeljkovic, Head of BMW Leipzig Plant

H2IntraDrive – BMW Leipzig plant

Plant receives hydrogen-powered forklifts and tractors

BMW Group

Intralogistics of the automotive industry

Project partner
Linde Material Handling GmbH
BMW Group
Munich University of Technology

Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs (now BMDV) as part of the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Program (NIP)

Project duration
1.1.2014 until 30.6.2016

Project description

Linde has now handed over a fleet of nine hydrogen-powered fuel cell industrial trucks to the BMW plant in Leipzig. These will be used to supply parts in BMW i body construction as part of the H2Intradrive research project, which will run until 2016. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs (now BMDV) as part of the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Program (NIP) with a total of 2.9 million euros. In addition to the BMW plant in Leipzig and Linde Material Handling, the fml chair at the Technical University of Munich is also participating. The fleet handed over at the BMW plant in Leipzig includes four tugger tractors and five forklifts that are fueled with green-certified hydrogen. “Sustainability is a top priority at BMW i, and that applies to the product just as much as to production. That’s why fuel cell forklifts and tractors with green-certified hydrogen as an energy carrier are a very good fit for the BMW plant in Leipzig,” said plant manager Dr. Milan Nedeljkovic at the handover.

The aim of the project is to test the environmentally friendly and efficient hydrogen drive for industrial trucks under real production conditions and to develop it further to series production readiness. In addition to the aspect of sustainability, the focus here is also on charging cycles and maintenance. These cause by the necessary battery change with conventional lead-acid batteries in conventional industrial trucks relatively
long service life. The fuel cell hybrid system of the forklifts and tow tractors, on the other hand, can be refueled in just a few minutes and also requires very little maintenance. The vehicles thus achieve higher availability, especially in multi-shift operation.
At the BMW plant in Leipzig, Germany’s first indoor hydrogen refueling system was built in the BMW i body shop. In this project, Linde Material Handling provides the industrial trucks with fuel cell system and hydrogen tank, which are intended for parts supply in production. The chair fml takes over the scientific monitoring and evaluation regarding the ecological and economic sustainability. Finally, BMW is testing the technology under everyday conditions in a real production environment, using hydrogen generated in a CO2-neutral manner.

About BMW AG Leipzig Plant

The BMW plant in Leipzig is one of the most modern and sustainable automobile factories in the world. Series production began in March 2005. Today, up to 740 vehicles a day roll off the production line here, currently the BMW X1 as well as the BMW 1 Series as a 5-door model. Since mid-September, the BMW plant in Leipzig has also been producing the BMW i3. To this end, the company invested around 400 million euros in Leipzig and created around 800 jobs. Series production of the BMW i8 will start in 2014. More than 3,700 BMW employees currently work at the BMW plant in Leipzig.


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