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Daimler Truck building first Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck customer-trial fleet; Amazon, Air Products, INEOS, Holcim and Wiedmann & Winz

Daimler Truck is building a first customer-trial fleet of Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Trucks (earlier post). Amazon, Air Products, INEOS, Holcim and Wiedmann & Winz will take part in first customer trials, expected from mid-2024, to gain initial experience in CO2-free long-distance transport with fuel-cell trucks.


The five semi-trailer tractors will be deployed in different long-haul applications on specific routes in Germany, such as the transport of building materials, sea containers or cylinder gases.

During these first customer trials the GenH2 Trucks remain under the direct supervision and responsibility of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. The vehicles will be refueled at designated public liquid hydrogen filling stations (sLH2) in Wörth am Rhein and in the Duisburg area.

Daimler Truck and its partner companies are thus creating a lighthouse project and demonstrating that decarbonized transport with hydrogen-powered trucks is already possible today. However, for the transformation to succeed, it will be necessary in the coming years to ensure the build-up of an international refueling infrastructure and a sufficient supply of green liquid hydrogen.

Daimler Truck prefers liquid hydrogen in the development of hydrogen-based drives. In this state the energy carrier not only has a significantly higher energy density, but transport costs can also be significantly reduced. As a result, more hydrogen can be carried, which significantly increases the range and enables comparable performance of the vehicle with that of a conventional diesel truck. Liquid hydrogen tanks also offer advantages in terms of cost and weight. Therefore, the use of liquid hydrogen enables a higher payload.

For the first time, a new refueling process for liquid hydrogen will be used in the customer-trial fleet: “sLH2 technology” (sLH2 = “subcooled” liquid hydrogen). The technology was developed jointly with Linde and is freely available to all interested companies via an ISO standard.

The approach enables, among other things, an even higher storage density compared to LH2 and easier refueling within 10–15 minutes. The companies are planning the first refueling of a fuel-cell truck at a pilot station in Wörth am Rhein for the beginning of 2024. Daimler Truck and its partners are planning for a high level of transparency and openness around the relevant interfaces of the jointly developed sLH2 technology. The goal is to collaborate with other companies and associations where possible to develop their own refueling and vehicle technologies that apply the new liquid-hydrogen standard and thereby establish a global mass market for the new refueling process.

The development engineers of Daimler Truck have based the GenH2 Truck on the characteristics of the conventional Mercedes-Benz Actros long-haul truck in terms of payload, range and performance. The Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Trucks used in these first customer trials offer a payload of approx. 25 tons at a gross combination weight (GCW) of 40 tons.

Two special liquid hydrogen tanks and a cellcentric fuel-cell system enable this high payload and long range. The two stainless-steel liquid-hydrogen tanks of the GenH2 Truck have a particularly high storage capacity of 88 kilograms (44 kg each) which make them well suited for covering long distances. The stainless-steel tank system consists of two tubes, one within the other, that are connected to each other, and vacuum insulated.

The fuel-cell system of the GenH2 Truck delivers 300 kilowatts (2 x150 kW) and the battery provides an additional 400 kW temporarily. At 70 kWh, the storage capacity of the battery is relatively low, as it is not intended to meet energy needs, but mainly to be switched on to provide situational power support for the fuel cell, for example during peak loads while accelerating or while driving uphill fully loaded.

At the same time, the relatively light battery allows a higher payload. It is recharged with braking energy and excess fuel-cell energy. A core element of the sophisticated operating strategy of the fuel-cell and battery system is a cooling and heating system that keeps all components at a suitable operating temperature, thus ensuring maximum durability. In a pre-series version, the two electric motors are designed for a total of 2 x 230 kW continuous power and 2 x 330 kW maximum power.

In September 2023, a public road approved prototype of the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck completed Daimler Truck’s #HydrogenRecordRun covering 1,047 km of distance driven with one fill of liquid hydrogen. The company aims to introduce the series version of the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck in the second half of the decade.

Daimler Truck is pursuing a dual-track strategy with hydrogen and battery powered vehicles. Battery-electric trucks are the ideal choice for distribution haulage and in the case of the eActros 600, for long-distance haulage with regular deployment on plannable routes with suitable distances and charging options. However, fuel-cell trucks could be a better solution especially for very flexible and particularly demanding deployments in heavy-duty transport and long-distance haulage. In addition, the availability of appropriate infrastructure and sufficient green electricity are crucial for a successful transition to CO2-free technologies. Daimler Truck is convinced that rapid and cost-improved coverage of this energy demand can only be achieved with both technologies.


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