Daimler Truck is making significant strides in the decarbonisation of transportation with the development of its Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Trucks, marking a crucial step toward hydrogen-powered, CO2-free long-distance transport.
The company is set to build the first customer-trial fleet, and by mid-2024, Amazon, Air Products, INEOS, Holcim, and Wiedmann & Winz have all confirmed they will participate in the trials.
The fleet will consist of five semi-trailer tractors deployed in various long-haul applications across specific routes in Germany, including transporting building materials, sea containers, and cylinder gases. During these trials, the GenH2 Trucks will be under the direct supervision of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, refueled at designated public liquid Hydrogen filling stations (sLH2) in Wörth am Rhein and the Duisburg area.
“With this first customer fleet, our fuel-cell trucks are now being tested in real customer operation. 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,” said Andreas Gorbach, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG, responsible for Truck Technology.
Participating companies, including Wiedmann & Winz, Holcim, Air Products, INEOS, and VERVAEKE, will gain practical experience during these customer trials. Wiedmann & Winz, an international logistics service provider, will use the GenH2 Truck to transport sea containers for DP World, emphasising the potential of the innovative truck on pan-European logistic routes.
Daimler Truck prefers liquid hydrogen, rather than gas, as an energy carrier, citing its higher energy density and cost advantages. The company is introducing a new refueling process for liquid hydrogen in the customer-trial fleet, known as “sLH2 technology” (subcooled liquid hydrogen). The technology, developed in collaboration with Linde, enables higher storage density, faster refueling within 10–15 minutes, and will be available to interested companies via an ISO standard.
The GenH2 Truck’s key performance figures are comparable to conventional long-haul trucks, with a payload of approximately 25 tonnes at a gross combination weight of 40t. The innovative semi-trailer tractors are equipped with two special liquid hydrogen tanks and a powerful cellcentric fuel-cell system, providing a high payload and long range.
Daimler Truck aims to introduce the series version of the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck in the second half of the decade, consistently pursuing a dual-track strategy with hydrogen and battery-powered vehicles to achieve CO2-neutral driving by 2039. The development of infrastructure and a sufficient supply of green liquid hydrogen will be crucial for the successful transition to CO2-free technologies.