Mercedes-Benz Trucks expects bright future for hydrogen vehicles

Mercedes-Benz Trucks plans to expand its vehicle lineup in the second half of the decade to include series-produced trucks with hydrogen-based fuel-cell drives.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks anticipates a bright future for hydrogen trading, where pricing will be extremely competitive. The truck maker also anticipates benefits for its clients in the form of increased driving ranges, greater versatility, and reduced refueling times thanks to the hydrogen infrastructure’s lower costs and greater technological viability. Customers may find hydrogen vehicles to be an attractive alternative because of their low total cost of ownership and performance in demanding long-haul operations.

Accelerating growth

Since last year, the first fuel-cell prototypes of the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck have been undergoing extensive testing, both in-house and on public roads. Mercedes-Benz Trucks prefers liquid hydrogen in the research and development of hydrogen-based motors. In this collective form, the energy carrier packs a lot more punch per unit volume than hydrogen gas does. This allows for a greater quantity of hydrogen to be stored, which in turn extends the vehicle’s range and makes it functionally equivalent to a standard diesel truck.

GenH2 Truck’s development goal is to achieve a range of at least 1,000 kilometers. Because of this, the truck can be used for a wide variety of tasks, including the crucial industry of heavy-duty long-haul transportation. Trucks powered by hydrogen fuel will enter serial production in the latter half of this decade.

Daimler Truck’s development engineers modeled the GenH2 Truck’s payload, range, and performance on those of the standard Mercedes-Benz Actros long-haul truck. The targeted offering will be a series-produced GenH2 Truck with a payload of 25 tons and a gross weight of 40 tons. Both the high payload and the extended range are made possible by the use of two specialized liquid hydrogen tanks and a particularly powerful fuel-cell system.

Meanwhile, Daimler Truck and Linde have teamed up to create a novel method of dealing with liquid hydrogen. In 2023, the businesses hope to have their first prototype vehicle refill at a pilot station in Germany.

Daimler Truck plans to collaborate with firms like Shell, BP, and TotalEnergies to set up hydrogen filling stations along key transportation corridors in Europe. Daimler Truck has invested in H2 MOBILITY Deutschland, a company that operates hydrogen refueling stations. Moreover, as part of the H2Accelerate (H2A) interest group, Daimler Truck, IVECO, Linde, OMV, Shell, TotalEnergies, and the Volvo Group have pledged to collaborate to pave the way for the commercialization of hydrogen-powered trucks across Europe.