High expectations for H2 trucks

Expections, © H2 Mobility
© H2 Mobility

Two truck heavyweights become partners

Volvo and Daimler have substantiated their plans to use hydrogen for large long-distance trucks. During an online presentation event at the end of April 2021, Martin Lundstedt, President of the Volvo Group, specifically named the high possible payloads and the long ranges as decisive criteria for the use of fuel cell technology. He also held out the prospect of large-scale production starting after 2025 and a gigafactory for fuel cells being built by then. Initially, pre-series production is to take place in Esslingen near Stuttgart. The final location question is to be clarified in 2022.

Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Daimler Truck AG, announced that in 2040 – or earlier – the last combustion engines would be sold, i.e. that from then on the company would be CO2-neutral. He stressed the need for a second energy storage system in addition to batteries. He said: “We need a second source of energy – and that source is hydrogen.” According to him, 2027 will be the year when things “really start happening”. In concrete terms, this me

ans that initial road tests are planned for the next few months, followed by customer trials in 2023 and the first series production vehicles of the GenH2 truck from 2027. Larger numbers are therefore not expected until the end of the decade at the earliest. Regarding a competitive situation with Volvo, Daum explained: “We are competitors in terms of vehicles, but when it comes to the H2 power unit, we work together.

GenH2 Fuel Cell Truck by Mercedes-Benz

  • For 40 t total weight
  • Service life: at least 1 million kilometres
  • Two stainless steel tanks with 40 kg capacity
  • 300 kW FC system consisting of two stacks with 200 individual cells each
  • High-voltage battery, between the two tanks (400 kW)
  • Two electric motors with 230 kW continuous output
  • More cooling capacity than a diesel vehicle
  • Size of the FC system comparable with a diesel unit
  • Continuous operation of the fuel cell; peak load via accumulator

“This is nothing less than the beginning of a new era. […] Our clear preference is liquid hydrogen.”

Sven Ennerst, Member of the Board of Management for Development at Daimler Truck AG

When asked why the production of the GLC F-Cell was not being pushed forward, Martin Daum made it clear that battery solutions are currently appropriate in the passenger car sector, not least because of the far better energy supply (charging infrastructure). However, the focus could be turned back to FC passenger cars at any time, as the knowledge was not lost.

… Read more in the latest H2-International e-Journal, May 2021

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