Waste-to-Wheels: Driving sustainable urban waste transport

16 Aug 2021

Hydrogen-powered garbage trucks are currently cruising the streets of the NetherlandsA total of 15 vehicles are scheduled to hit the road in three more countries across Europe by 2022 

After 2.5 years of truck design, manufacturing and production, the Tractebel-coordinated Refuse Vehicle Innovation and Validation in Europe (REVIVE) demonstration phase is now underway. A total of 15 custom-built hydrogen fuel cell electrical vehicle (FCEV) trucks will operate across the Netherlands (in Amsterdam, Breda, Groningen, Noordenveld and Helmond), Belgium (Antwerp), Sweden (Götenburg) and Italy (Merano and Bolzano) in 2021-2022. These deployments will put sustainable urban waste transport in the spotlight, with the potential for 6,000 new zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell garbage trucks to hit the road each year across Europe. 

Waste-to-Wheels to decarbonize heavy duty vehicles 

Our Energy Transition experts are coordinating the REVIVE consortium* and leading the Waste-to-Wheels market analysis and case study. Waste-to-Wheels is a circular model to transform plant waste into renewable fuel, where hydrogen is produced near an incinerator and used locally for various mobility applications. The aim is a zero-emissions solution to decarbonize heavy duty vehicles and captive fleets (trucks, busses, taxis) that typically burn significant amounts of fossil fuels in the cities. Waste-to-Wheels projects are already commercialized by our Energy business line in Belgium, with the support of our Innovation Lab and Engie Benelux. The REVIVE return-of-experience aims to scale up this business for Tractebel and the technology partners. 

Waste-to-Wheels was nominated for the Best Innovation at the European Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH-JU) Awards in 2019. The solution made the final selection, the top three for “Best Success Story” and top three for the “Best Innovation.” 

REVIVE demo hydrogen fuel cell trucks hit the road 

The REVIVE project consists of designing, building and now launching a two-year test period of 15 hydrogen fuel cell-powered garbage trucks in eight regions across Europe. REVIVE demonstrates the technical feasibility and economic viability of the Waste-to-Wheels solution, developed by Tractebel in 2017. The project will also include an in-depth analysis of the tested vehicles’ data, combined with an assessment of the potential to fuel the trucks with green hydrogen sourced from waste plants. 




With roughly 20% of Europe’s road transport CO2 emissions coming froheavy duty vehicles, the potential for REVIVE to help decarbonize the transport industry is significantFeedback on the first deployments of the hydrogen fuel cell garbage trucks will provide Tractebel and the consortium partners the opportunity to scale up Waste-to-Wheels, a big step in the drive towards clean and sustainable urban waste transportation powered by locally produced green hydrogen.  

Jean-Paul Mossoux
Innovation Manager
Innovation Lab
      Dimitri Van den Borre
REVIVE Project Coordinator
Project Manager Green Fuels

The REVIVE initiative is funded by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement nr. 779589, which in turn receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program Hydrogen Europe Industry and Hydrogen Europe Research. 

*REVIVE partners: CEA, City of Antwerp, City of Amsterdam, City of Breda, City of Groningen, Element Energy, ETrucks Europa, SEAB SPA, ASM Merano-Stadtwerke Meran, SUEZ Netherlands, Tractebel, Proton Motor, PowerCell, Renova, WaterstofNet. 

Find out more about REVIVE. 

One of 15 custom-built REVIVE hydrogen fuel cell electrical vehicle (FCEV) garbage trucks 

Discover our hydrogen solutions and project portfolio.


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