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bp and Daimler Truck AG announced intentions to collaborate to speed the roll-out of a hydrogen network in the UK, enabling the deployment of a critical technology for decarbonizing freight transport.

They intend to pioneer both hydrogen infrastructure development and the introduction of hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks in the United Kingdom.

Hp will examine the feasibility of developing, constructing, operating, and delivering a network of up to 25 hydrogen refueling stations across the UK by 2030 under the terms of their agreement of understanding (MoU). bp would provide these stations with ‘green’ hydrogen derived by renewable energy sources. Additionally, Daimler Truck anticipates delivering hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks to its UK customers starting in 2025.

Emma Delaney, bp’s executive vice president for customer and products, said: “Hydrogen is critical to decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors – and for heavy and long-distance freight it is sometimes the only answer. Working with a leading manufacturer like Daimler Truck AG we can accelerate the deployment of both vehicles and infrastructure and pioneer the use of hydrogen to fuel the next generation of [UK] freight. From producing and supplying hydrogen through to building and operating the fuelling stations, bp is perfectly positioned to transform transport and ultimately build a better energy future.”

Karin Rådström, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Member of the Board of Management at Daimler Truck said: “We are consistently pursuing our vision of CO2-neutral transport. Especially for CO2-neutral long-haul road transportation, the hydrogen-powered fuel-cell drive will become indispensable in the future. Together with bp we want to jointly develop and scale the required hydrogen infrastructure by putting our hydrogen-powered fuel-cell trucks into our customers’ hand and thus supporting the decarbonization of the UK freight network. At the same time, 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”. 

By 2039, Daimler Trucks aims to deliver only new CO2-neutral vehicles (“from tank to wheel”) in Europe, North America, and Japan. The company is concentrating its efforts on CO2-neutral technologies, including battery storage and hydrogen-based fuel cells. The truck company is currently conducting road tests in Germany on a new upgraded version of its Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck. Customers are projected to receive the first series-produced GenH2 Trucks in 2027.

Daimler Trucks has made it quite clear that it prefers liquid hydrogen. The energy carrier in this state has a far higher energy density per volume than gaseous hydrogen. As a result, the tanks of a liquid hydrogen-powered fuel cell truck are substantially smaller and, due to the decreased pressure, significantly lighter. This results in increased cargo room and payload capacity for the trucks. Simultaneously, additional hydrogen may be carried, considerably increasing the range of the trucks. As with conventional diesel trucks, this enables the series version of the GenH2 Truck to be used for multi-day, difficult-to-plan long-haul transport with a high daily energy output.

Convenience and mobility are essential to bp’s strategy, which includes collaborating with partners to help customers realize the future of mobility and services. In terms of electrification, bp now operates 11,000 electric vehicle charging stations worldwide and plans to grow that network to 70,000 by 2030. Additionally, today’s deal marks bp’s first moves toward hydrogen transportation deployment. Hp also hopes to create hydrogen refueling facilities around Europe, with plans currently in place for sites in Germany.

bp’s objective is to establish a market leadership position in the production and supply of low carbon hydrogen. Near the United Kingdom, BP intends to develop a hydrogen production facility in Teesside, which will be capable of producing 1GW of blue hydrogen from natural gas combined with carbon capture and storage. It is also investigating the region’s potential for green hydrogen, including assisting in the development of Teesside as the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub. These efforts contribute to the UK government’s goal of creating 5 gigatonnes of hydrogen by 2030.

Nedim Husomanovic

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