Daimler Trucks’ revealed in 2020 their precise testing of its second-generation hydrogen-powered prototype truck, which the company describes as a significant breakthrough on the path to production of the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck. The goal is to achieve ranges of up to 1,000 kilometers (more than 600 miles) and more without any stops for refueling. Comprehensive series of tests were conducted in late April focusing on factors such as continuous operation, strange weather and road conditions, and various driving maneuvers.
The vehicle will also be tested on public roads before the end of 2021 as part of Daimler Trucks’ development plan and customer trials are scheduled to begin in 2023. Moreover, first series-produced GenH2 Trucks are expected to be handed over to customers starting in 2027.
The GenH2 features completely newly-designed components which include the fuel-cell system, the all-electric powertrain, and all of the associated systems such as the special cooling unit. It also uses liquid hydrogen which results in smaller and significantly lighter tanks which significantly increases the trucks’ range.
The truck bears the message, “powered by cell centric,” which is the joint fuel-cell venture recently formed by Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group to accelerate the rollout of hydrogen-based fuel-cells for trucks.
“We want to offer our customers the best locally CO2-neutral trucks — powered by either batteries or hydrogen-based fuel-cells, depending on the use case,” said Martin Daum, Daimler Trucks chief. “The hydrogen-powered fuel-cell drive will become indispensable for CO2-neutral long-haul road transport in the future. This is also confirmed by our many partners with whom we are working together at full steam to put this technology on the road in series-production vehicles.”
He also pointed to the “considerable momentum” being generated by European regulators for the use of hydrogen for road freight transport.
“Political support plays an important role in promoting the creation of an infrastructure for green hydrogen and making an economically viable use of fuel-cell trucks possible for our customers,” he said.