Battery vs. Hydrogen in Heavy-Duty Transport – Which Drive Type Will Prevail?

The smarter E Podcast Episode 126 | March 02, 2023 | Language: German

Electromobility is also picking up speed in freight transport. This raises the question of the most versatile type of drive. Regardless of developments in the passenger car segment, this niche is often seen as a "safe haven" for hydrogen propulsion (H2). The reasons given for this are the insufficient range of battery trucks, charging times that are too long, and the reduced payload due to the heavy battery. While battery-electric vehicles have prevailed over H2 in private transport, there is still some debate in heavy-duty transport. But which type of drive will prevail in the long term? What role do range, infrastructure and, above all, economy play? We talk about this with Christopher Hecht from the Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives at RWTH Aachen University and Member of the Project Hydrogen Compass.


  • 1.36: Hydrogen in the passenger car sector seems to make less sense. How does it look in heavy-duty transport?
  • 12.43: A look at the infrastructure - how many charging points are needed?
  • 19.47: Comparison of energy sources: What are the respective ecological advantages and challenges of BEVs and hydrogen vehicles?
  • 22.31: Economic efficiency: Which type of drive will prevail in the long term?

About The smarter E Podcast

The smarter E podcast is all about the current trends and developments in a renewable, decentralized and digital energy industry. Our moderators Tobias Bücklein and Zackes Brustik welcome and interview personalities who shape our industry and drive developments forward. A new episode is published every Thursday.

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About Christopher Hecht & the ISEA

Christopher's research focuses on applying machine learning and Big Data algorithms to public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Key questions are how to best utilize the existing infrastructure, how to best organize future expansion, and how electric vehicles can interact with the power grid in a way that serves the system. Through the platform as well as through appearances at various conferences, he is a leading voice on the use of charging infrastructure in Germany.

The Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives (ISEA) at RWTH Aachen University was founded in 1965 and has been headed by Prof. Dr. Rik W. De Doncker since 1996. Today, ISEA houses the chairs for Power Electronics and Electric Drives, for Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage Systems Technology, and for Battery Aging Processes and Lifetime Prediction. The aim is to optimize existing battery technologies for applications.

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