Daimler Unveils Fuel Cell Concept Truck, E-Strategy

Mercedes-Benz GenH2, with range up to 1000 km/621 miles, will begin customer trials in 2023

Daimler Trucks today presented its technology strategy for the electrification of its vehicles, ranging from urban distribution to international long-haul transport.

At an event in Berlin, Germany, the company focused on the technology for hydrogen-based fuel-cell trucks for long-haul transport. The Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck, which had its world premiere as a concept vehicle, marks the beginning of fuel-cell drive, the company said.

With the GenH2 Truck, Daimler Trucks is demonstrating for the first time which specific technologies the manufacturer will use to enable heavy-duty fuel-cell trucks to perform flexible and demanding long-distance haulage operations with ranges of up to 1000 km (621 miles) and more on a single tank of hydrogen. Through the use of more energy-dense liquid instead of gaseous hydrogen, the vehicle’s performance is planned to equal that of a comparable conventional diesel truck.

“We are consistently pursuing our vision of CO2-neutral transport with a focus on the genuinely locally CO2-neutral technologies battery power and hydrogen-based fuel cells, which have the potential to succeed in the market in the long term,” said Martin Daum, chairman of the board of management of Daimler Truck AG and member of the board of Management of Daimler AG. “This combination enables us to offer our customers the best vehicle options, depending on the application. Battery power will be rather used for lower cargo weights and for shorter distances. Fuel cell power will tend to be the preferred option for heavier loads and longer distances.”

Daimler Trucks said it plans to begin customer trials of the GenH2 Truck in 2023, with series production to start in the second half of the decade.

Daimler Trucks also presented for the first time a preview of a purely battery-powered long-haul truck, the Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul, which is designed to cover regular journeys on plannable routes. The company said it plans to have the eActros LongHaul ready for series production in 2024. Its range on one battery charge will be approximately 500 km (310 miles).

With the Mercedes-Benz eActros for distribution transport, which debuted in 2018 and has been tested intensively since then by customers in everyday transport operations, Daimler Trucks will start series production of a purely battery-powered heavy-duty truck next year. The range of the series-produced eActros on one battery charge will significantly exceed that of the prototype’s approximately 200 km (125 miles), the company said.

Daimler Trucks said it is pursuing similar vehicle schedules for the North American and Japanese markets as it is for Europe. By the year 2022, Daimler Trucks’ portfolio in its main sales regions – Europe, the USA and Japan – is to include series-produced vehicles with battery-electric drive. The company also has the ambition to offer only new vehicles that are CO2-neutral in driving operation in Europe, North America and Japan by 2039.

As a new worldwide modular platform architecture, Daimler said its ePowertrain will be the technological basis of all medium- and heavy-duty CO2-neutral, all-electric series-produced trucks it produces, whether powered purely by batteries or by hydrogen-based fuel cells. With the ePowertrain, Daimler Trucks plans to achieve synergies and economies of scale for all relevant vehicles and markets.

For more information on Daimler’s electrification strategy is available at New Power Progress. Click here to access.

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