Plug Power customer BMW now operating largest hydrogen fuel cell fleet in North America

BMW manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, SC, expands use of fuel cells for material handling trucks and forklifts.

By ·

Plug Power, a leader in fuel cell technology for forklifts, today announced that BMW Manufacturing Co. recently expanded the use of Plug Power hydrogen fuel cells at its Spartanburg, S.C., facility to power all material handling trucks and forklifts, bringing its fleet to 275 units. This makes it the largest such fleet in North America.

In 2010, after installing a storage and distribution area for hydrogen supplied by Linde Industrial Gases near its 4 million-square-foot production facility in Spartanburg, BMW equipped more than 100 forklift trucks and pallet jacks in its X3 assembly hall with Plug Power’s GenDrive hydrogen fuel cell system. Now, BMW has added GenDrive units to another 175 trucks and forklifts in the assembly hall for its X5 and X6 automobiles and in its paint and body shops.

Clean GenDrive hydrogen fuel cells are an alternative to lead-acid batteries in the $20 billion global material handling market. Use of the fuel cells aims at lowering operational costs and emissions while improving reliability. Fuel cell usage also eliminates the need for large battery storage and charging rooms, freeing up valuable production space.

BMW chose to deploy GenDrive fuel cells in its manufacturing center to full take advantage of those and other benefits, such as increased productivity for both vehicle operators and production.

“BMW’s ongoing commitment to clean production is evident in our recent expansion of our hydrogen fuel cell program,” said Duncan Seaman, BMW Group, Head of Market Operations, Americas. “We appreciate Linde’s partnership in supporting the expansion, making our entire operation more sustainable.”

“The expansion of BMW’s hydrogen fuel cell material handling fleet in Spartanburg makes BMW one of the world’s largest users of hydrogen fuel cells at a single site,” said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power. “This milestone is significant because it demonstrates that a GenDrive solution can profitably scale to bring enormous benefits to the organization including increased productivity, cost savings and carbon-footprint reductions.”


Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Private Fleet vs. Dedicated: Which one is right for you?
Having the right fleet for your business can give you an advantage over the competition and lower transportation costs.
Download Today!
From the April 2017 Issue
While adoption rates have remained relatively flat, yard management systems (YMS) are helping logistics operations turn that important space between the loading dock and the gate into a vital link in the supply chain.
Information Management: Wearables come in for a refit
2017 Air Cargo Roundtable: Positive Outlook Driven by New Demand
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Maximize Your LTL Driver Adherence with Real-time Feedback
This webinar shows how companies are using real-time performance data to optimize the scheduling of their city fleets, as well as the routing of their standard, accelerated and time-critical shipments.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...

ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...