Daimler Fuel Cell Trucks to Hit the Road in 2024

Fuel-Cell Technology: Daimler Truck Builds First Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck Customer-Trial Fleet

(Credit: Daimler Truck)

by | Dec 20, 2023

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Daimler Truck, the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, plans to introduce its fuel cell trucks in the first customer fleets in 2024.

The company said it completed a rigorous testing phase on testing racks and public roads and is now moving forward with the next development phase of its hydrogen-powered trucks. It is now taking steps to build the first customer-trial fleet of Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Trucks — with some big names in tow. Amazon, Air Products, INEOS, Holcim, and Wiedmann & Winz will take part in the first customer trials in CO2-free long-distance transport with fuel-cell trucks.

The trials have specific guidelines around them, including the GenH2 Trucks remaining under the direct supervision and responsibility of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. In addition, the trials will deploy the five semi-trailer tractors in different long-haul applications on specific routes in Germany, such as the transport of building materials, sea containers, or cylinder gases.

“With this first customer fleet, our fuel-cell trucks are now being tested in real customer operation,” Andreas Gorbach, member of the board of management of Daimler Truck, said in a statement. “A win-win situation for both sides: our customers get to know fuel-cell technology in daily real-life operation and our engineering team gets to better understand customer needs and relevant use cases, taking them into account for series development.”

Vehicles in the trials will be refueled at designated public liquid hydrogen filling stations (sLH2) in Wörth am Rhein and in the Duisburg area. For the pilot to expand and hydrogen-fueled transportation to scale, new infrastructure and sufficient supply of liquid hydrogen will be necessary.

The announcement comes as hydrogen investments in the United States and globally are ramping up. Hydrogen-fueled cars are also being touted as a possible alternative to fossil fuel in U.S. cities, such as Houston.

The announcement also comes as Amazon continues pushing its sustainability goals in various pathways, including hydrogen power, purchasing renewable energy and improving transportation efficiency.

“Amazon is continuously working towards becoming carbon neutral by 2040,” Andreas Marschner, vice president of Amazon Transportation Services, said in a statement. “The decarbonization of our transport network plays a crucial role in achieving this milestone. All logistics stakeholders––from manufacturers to energy companies and operators — must therefore continue to invest, experiment, and innovate. We look forward to participating in this pilot project and learning from it.”

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