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MAN plans truck series with hydrogen combustion for 2025; initially around 200 vehicles for selected markets

Commercial vehicle manufacturer MAN Truck & Bus will be the first European truck producer to launch a small series with a hydrogen combustion engine. The initially planned small series of around 200 units is to be delivered to customers in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland and selected non-European countries as early as 2025.

The “MAN hTGX”, as the vehicle will be called, offers an alternative zero-emission drive variant for special applications, for example for transporting heavy goods such as construction work, tank transport or timber transport. The hTGX can also be an environmentally friendly alternative to battery-electric trucks for use in areas without sufficient charging infrastructure or for markets where sufficient hydrogen is already available.


The new hydrogen combustion truck is based on the proven TG vehicle series.

MAN will hand over its battery-electric truck to customers for the first time in 2024 and scale it up from 2025. MAN has been the market leader for electric city buses in Europe since 2023.

We are continuing to focus on battery-electric vehicles to decarbonize road freight transport. These currently have clear advantages over other drive concepts in terms of energy efficiency and operating and energy costs. However, trucks powered by hydrogen combustion engines are a useful addition for special applications and markets. We anticipate that we will be able to best serve the vast majority of our customers’ transport applications with battery-powered trucks. For special applications, hydrogen combustion or, in the future, fuel cell technology is a suitable supplement. The hydrogen combustion engine H45 is based on the proven D38 diesel engine and is produced at the engine and battery plant in Nuremberg. The use of familiar technology enables us to enter the market at an early stage and thus provides a decisive impetus for the ramp-up of the hydrogen infrastructure. With the hTGX, we have now added an attractive product to our zero-emission portfolio.

—Friedrich Baumann, Executive Board Member of MAN Truck & Bus and responsible for Sales & Customer Solution

The hydrogen drive is particularly suitable for special transport tasks that require a special axle configuration or where there is no space for the battery on the frame due to the need for truck body work. The MAN hTGX offers high payloads and maximum ranges of up to 600 silometrek in its initially offered 6x2 and 6x4 axle variants.


The H45 hydrogen combustion engine is based on the tried-and-tested D38 diesel engine and is produced at the engine and battery plant in Nuremberg.

The H45 hydrogen combustion engine used has an output of 383 kW (520 hp) and a torque of 2500 N·m at 900-1300 rpm. The direct injection of hydrogen into the engine ensures particularly fast power delivery. With hydrogen compressed to 700 bar (CG H2) and a tank capacity of 56 kg, the vehicle can be refueled in less than 15 minutes.

With less than 1g CO2/tkm, the MAN hTGX will fulfil the criteria as a zero-emission vehicle under the new planned EU CO2 legislation.

The new CO2 regulations at EU level will classify trucks with hydrogen combustion engines as zero-emission vehicles. This means that such vehicles fully contribute to our CO2 fleet targets, which also opens the door for this small series that complements battery electric vehicles. At the same time, depending on the country, our customers benefit from corresponding toll reductions, for example.

At MAN’s Nuremberg site, we have the most innovative engine technology and decades of experience in the use of hydrogen as a fuel. We are utilizing this and presenting a real MAN with the MAN hTGX. The new hydrogen combustion truck is based on the tried-and-tested TG vehicle series and impresses with the highest quality and uncomplicated maintenance. We will continue to research fuel cell technology based on battery technology and hydrogen. H2 fuel technology is also in preparation at MAN. However, it will be several years before the technology is really ready for the market and competitive.

—Dr Frederik Zohm, Executive Board Member for Research & Development

MAN has been researching hydrogen drives for decades. MAN Truck & Bus presented the first hydrogen-powered bus at the Hanover Fair in 1996: the SL 202 city bus was powered by a natural gas engine that had been modified for hydrogen operation. Following the Hanover Fair, the vehicle completed a three-quarter year test phase in Erlangen, during which it travelled 13,000 kilometers and carried 60,000 passengers. The bus finally arrived in Munich in 1997 and was successfully deployed in regular service there.

This was followed in 1998 by three articulated buses for Munich Airport, which were used until 2008, and a further 14 hydrogen-powered buses between 2006 and 2009.

In addition to its earlier and more recent experience with commercial vehicles, MAN is now also developing and testing the hydrogen engine for the MAN Engines division in a wide range of applications on and off the road as well as on water. For example, it is well suited for special vehicles—such as snow cats—for trains on non-electrifiable routes and for excavators and cranes. Use in combined heat and power plants also makes sense, especially if the heat generated can be utilized in addition to the electricity.



More evidence of genius from the VW group.

After years of pushing batteries as the one and only true solution, during which from level pegging with Toyota as a mass producer of cars they are now a couple of million cars a year lower than them, and years of 'dissent will not be tolerated' uni focus on batteries for all brands within the group and applications including long distance heavy trucking, they have now arrived at the same conclusion everyone else within the industry knew years ago, that you need hydrogen for long distances and heavy loads.

Of course they have only managed to arrive at the potential solution with less headroom, using hydrogen in an ICE instead of a fuel cell, when everyone else are exploiting both, but we can be sure that with anything like present batteries if MAN had been able to make long distance heavy work, they would have done.

None of that is to say that for lighter loads and distances you don't use batteries, of course you do.

But the focus should always be on what works with more or less current technology, not a monomaniacal attachment to one solution in all circumstances.

But we can expect nothing less from the people who brought us 'clean diesel' years ago.

They have not changed.


Davemart, MAN doesn't seem to offer any EV trucks, so saying they've been focused on batteries as the only solution seems inaccurate.

Ironically, they probably could showcase fuel cell products, had they focused on batteries. As we know, it's just a matter of writing a cheque to Ballard Power and finding room on the chassis to fit extra hardware. Invite the press, snap a few pics, and Bob's your uncle!

You may also know that Scania, a sister company (also under the former VW Truck group) offers electric and fuel cell products. Presumably, MAN could have piggybacked on that tech.

Bernard Harper

When green hydrogen finally arrives it must be used to replace the 120 million tons of dirty hydrogen used in fertilizer manufacturing. Any other use is insane.



I have not checked recently, but a couple of years ago Mann was too skint to develop fuel cell or hydrogen ICE engines.
They have now decided to at least do the cheaper of the options.

I don't know what the relationship between Scania and Mann is, but the VW group seems to specialise in adversarial relationships.


@Bernard Harper:

We do not have a central directorship choosing what green hydrogen is used for.
The problem is cost, and as and when costs drop, then it will be distributed according to cost effectiveness as well as central direction or incentives.

Fertiliser is a rather different matter not directly related to green hydrogen, although to be sure green hydrogen can be used in its production.

There are though a number of other budding technologies for ammonia and fertiliser production, not directly related to green hydrogen production, some of which can take place actually on the farm, not centrally, for instance:

I am not guaranteeing that this and other allied technologies will pan out at volume, but it is certainly not a zero sum game, whereby a fixed amount of green hydrogen is allocated either to fertiliser production or other uses.

What counts is how much green hydrogen costs can be reduced, allocation is an altogether different matter, not to be determined by some derigiste means.

If it is cheap enough it will find all sorts of uses,
If it ain't, it won't.


Davemart, I wouldn't presume that VW's heavy truck division is currently run in the same manner as their passenger car division was a decade ago.

I think VW's main problem was that they were the only company selling significant numbers of diesel cars in the US at the time, so they had to meet much stricter emission rules (relative to EURO rules). Even Fiat/Chrysler mostly had the good sense to avoid passenger-car diesels in the US. They had one "light truck" diesel which they had to pay fines for.
Every brand selling diesels in the US was cheating, but most only sold a handful of units per year (GM, Land Rover, BMW).
As we later found-out, every brand was also cheating in Europe (which included the UK at the time), even though the rules there were much much less stringent.



No assumptions necessary.

The VW group chose the direction of all batteries, and their divisions including heavy trucking, both Scania and Mann fell into line.

Otherwise how come they have been the only major truck producers to stand consistently against hydrogen for years?

You also think, as far as I am aware, that batteries can do the job, and all of the job, so why you critique the VW group for their stance is mysterious.

It is however an objective fact that the VW group's 'progressive' adhesion to all batteries and the direction of the company has led to them substantially lagging bad of Toyota's reactionary desire to sell customers what they can afford with varying degrees of electrification.

What spin you want to put on it is up to you, but sales of the group as a whole have dropped, and it is difficult to see how the Mann group's switch and very belated move to hydrogen can represent other than an admission of failure.

Maybe better late than never, but they have hardly done so because what they were previously trying was a resounding success.

They screwed up, and are now trying to catch up, not with any great degree of credibility.


@Davemart, the only problem with your assumption is that it doesn't match facts. Scania sells both EV and fuel cell trucks (they sell way more EVs, but that's what their customers buy). MAN sells neither, but now they have a hydrogen prototype.

It's no use claiming that members of the former VW Truck group don't sell fuel cell platforms, Scania does. Call your local representative if you are interested!
It's also no use claiming that MAN has been laser-focused on BEV, they aren't in that market at all. I don't know how you came to think it was the case, but it's not supported by facts.

As for your opinions on all things VW, I'll just assume that it's the European equivalent of the old "Ford vs. Chevy debate." They don't sell any fuel cell cars, but neither does anybody else, within a tiny rounding error that is the Mirai (dozens of units produced, most current inoperative!) or equivalent Hyundai show cars.



Yep, my comments here are out of date with first Scania and now Mann having to belatedly switch to hydrogen, as they found that batteries could not do everything, after years of the VW group including both of them claiming they could:

' The Volkswagen-owned company last year issued statement dismissive of H2's future role in long-distance transport, but says it is now building 'an initial 20 fuel-cell trucks''

(Post 11th April 2022)

There is no doubt joy in heaven, but I am somewhat surprised that you appear to share it, as my understanding is that you are among those who regard hydrogen as a waste of time in all circumstances and for all applications?

Cost per mile.
Cost per mile.
Cost per mile.

MAN can field a truck for the applications stated, and mop up a few incentives , but this is a show pony.

A company that is not conflicted will take massive market share from slow performers who dawdle in technological cul-de-sacs.



I concur: Cost per mile, Cost per mile, Cost per mile.

There is no way hydrogen is going to win the cost per mile battle unless someone finds a free source of hydrogen and even then it is a pain to deal with.

I also concur with Bernard. If you have green hydrogen, use to replace the natural gas (or even worse coal) generated hydrogen used for fertilizer and other industrial uses.


@electric car insider:

Your comment is based on your view of the 'inevitable triumph of batteries, for all uses and applications' which I am awaiting with the same anticipation as that for the triumph of the proletariat.

That is what the VW group and their subsidaries in heavy trucking Scania and Man thought, or at least went along with the main board of VW on, willingly or not, and they clearly have not been able to make it work.

So a belated entry to hydrogen and in Scania's case fuel cells, is supposed to be just fine for the batteries everywhere thesis?

Market share: The VW groups market share, has been declining, not rising.



It is lifetime costs, not exclusively cost per mile.

First is depreciation, where purchase cost is important, and is the reason why whenever it is practical batteries have been deployed.

However fuel cells and hydrogen technologies are at a much earlier point on the cost curve, and although volume cost reductions have not even begun to kick in yet, have declined at a much greater rate than for batteries, which trend is set to continue.

Next is fuel costs, which are important, as you say. However, present costs for low volume, retail delivery in California should not be taken as indicative of future costs, with for instance the Chinese now reckoning that they are on track to deliver both hydrogen and fuel cell trucks competitively against petrol by 2030:

And already:

' The largest integrated green hydrogen production and refuelling complex in China is able to supply hydrogen at 35 yuan per kilo ($4.86/kg), near cost parity with diesel, according to reporting by the Chinese newspaper Hunan Daily.'

That is not to say that fuel costs are as cheap as electric, where that is available to cover the day's business without a recharge.

Batteries for that, no question. It is where that is not practical to cover the run that hydrogen comes in.

I will leave labour costs largely aside, as it should be similar for both.

On maintenance the track record of fuel cells is excellent, which is one of the reasons why reliance on ICE technology, including MAN's hydrogen ICE, is likely to be a relatively short term strategy.

I would agree that where batteries can do the job without having to fool around too much recharging during the day's run, and where the times you need to recharge coincide with when renewable or nuclear power is available it is the best choice, which is why every truck company without exception is doing that.

What is at issue is when that does not work, for long runs and heavy loads.

MAN finally changing direction, to follow Scania, is another indication of the failure to cover that with batteries.

If they could have, they would have.


Davemart, re: "my understanding is that you are among those who regard hydrogen as a waste of time in all circumstances and for all applications?"

What complete and utter BS! There you are again fighting one of your imaginary sea monsters, completely deaf to what others (and facts!) are telling you.

Nobody ever claimed that, especially not me. It's something you invented and are trying to pin on others whenever you are offered a link to data, or whenever anybody expresses any opinion that doesn't match yours exactly.

Once again, to be absolutely clear (not that it will help, sigh...): nobody ever said that H2 has no applications. You completely made that up. Please stop wasting everyone's time with this baseless accusation.



Presumably you have missed my:

' "my understanding is that you are among those who regard hydrogen as a waste of time in all circumstances and for all applications?"'

Even though you directly quoted it in your reply:

' What complete and utter BS!'

Clearly if that is not the case, and my understanding was mistaken, perhaps referring to another Bernard posting here or whatever, then my comment does not apply to you, nor is it necessary to categorise my own comment in injurious tones.

It appears in fact that we are on the same page, as I have never advocated the use of hydrogen incurring losses where it is reasonable and economic, and where the renewable energy is available when wanted, via batteries etc

Cool down.


Davemart, the other Bernard also plainly stated that green hydrogen has it's uses. Have you imagined a third Bernard who isn't in this conversation?



Why you should take offence to a critique of a position which is not your own remains mysterious to me.

Would not: 'Not me. Gov!' have sufficed?

Since we are in agreement on the fundamentals, it seems prolonging this discussion is not worthwhile.

I have certainly on this blog come across many 'anti hydrogen fundamentalists' who wish to dismiss any notion of using hydrogen at all for energy storage, so with all due apologies for not necessarily remembering their handles, that is the only position against which I seek to argue.

The rationale for hydrogen appears to rest on the presumption that it will be cheap in the future.

While some command economies may be able to make it appear so through subsidies or other policy maneuvers, it won’t change the underlying physics.

Burning hydrogen in an ICE instead of using more efficient fuel cells requires more refueling infrastructure for long haul trucking. The time and expense of establishing a refueling infrastructure is already one of the massive hurdles H2 faces to gain acceptance.

It might be easier and cheaper to develop H2 ICE trucks vs FCV trucks but none of the underlying problems have been solved, only exacerbated.

Very fast charging of BEVs completely erases any advantage of H2 as a transport fuel (i.e. relatively fast refuel time).

It seems more likely to me that the difficulties of fast battery charging get solved well before the arguably more difficult problems of cheap green hydrogen and widespread H2 dispensing infrastructure.

Bernard Harper

My absolutist attitude to hydrogen is mostly informed by the Hydrogen Science Coalition. Please listen to Prof David Cebon on the Fully Charged podcast to understand the engineering realities of hydrogen and why most attitudes to it are totally misinformed. After five minutes my jaw began to drop. And it did not stop.


@electric car insider:

I don't like hydrogen for cars, as at any rate with anything like current technology it comes into its own at larger sizes, the more power you need for the longer duration, the more competitive it is.

So it would do a far better job that the batteries in some rolling absurdity used as a pick up with 200KWh or so installed.

But in my view you stay as light as possible for personal transport, which in my view means that the sales ploy of EVs being luxo barges accelerating at rates dangerous and unsuitable for the public highway, and consuming massive resources in their manufacturing, ain't ecological at all.

But batteries are currently far better placed than fuel cell technology for private, more modest, transport.

There are however many fields where batteries cannot conceivably do the job, including for instance shipping, airplanes and long term storage.

That is where hydrogen and its derivatives come in.

As for cost, check out what the price is already for green hydrogen in China, referenced by me a few posts up.

Is it as cheap as electricity when that is available to charge a car, no, but that is very far from being always the case everywhere, and has nothing to do with stuff such as long distance shipping and fertiliser production, where batteries are substantially irrelevant


Davemart, I take offence because you do this every time. You make-up some point that nobody ever argued, and then you claim that someone else said it.

The other Bernard argued that so-called "green hydrogen" should only be used as a replacement for dirty fossil hydrogen, which is an entirely reasonable point even if you disagree. That Bernard provided supporting evidence. I've long argued that green H2 could have some uses in remote locations that can't be electrified economically, like the Hudson Bay Railway.

You keep arguing against a made-up commenter who doesn't want any green hydrogen in any circumstances. This is someone only you can see, and I strongly suspect you invented this person because it's a lot easier to argue to argue against a phantom that you can assign made-up opinions to.

Long story short: please stop. If you have valid points to make, go ahead, but don't invent stuff, or accuse others of writing thing that they didn't. This tactic of yours undermines any point you may have intended to make.

I agree with your points above, Davemart, except that GM is building and selling that 200kWh pickup truck instead of an FCV version. Because it is economical to operate, it will find a willing audience. The battery weight will come down by half within the next 5-10 years.

Big bloated cars are encouraged by US tax and environmental laws. Yes, it’s a problem. Maybe Aptera can lead the way, like the VW Beetle did in the 60s and 70s here.

Medium and heavy duty battery electric trucks can perform well enough now, and that will continue to improve over the next decade and beyond if what’s coming out of Amprius, Storedot, etc is any indication.

I’m about to buy a BrightDrop panel van and drive it around the US, about 10k miles. I’ll be writing and posting videos about how it goes.


@Bernard said:

' I take offence because you do this every time. You make-up some point that nobody ever argued,'

Your point would be considerable stronger, if a post or so before that, Bernard Harper had not said:

' My absolutist attitude to hydrogen is mostly informed by the Hydrogen Science Coalition.'

I am not a mind reader, I respond to what people type and post.

And I have come across many, many posters whose opposition to the use of hydrogen approaches near religious intensity.


@electric car insider:

We all extrapolate, of course, but I do try to limit myself.
One of my previous occupations, many years ago, was in cost and works accountancy.

So to work out what was worthwhile investing in, lots of stuff was extrapolated, and you would put levels of confidence on that extrapolation, depending on among other things on the maturity of a technology and so on.

The bottom line is that one can have a very high degree of confidence in some categories, for instance with a given technology, with only incremental advances assumed with increased volume what the cost will be,

That simply does not work for very different technology.

When the Leaf came out, I argued vigorously in it, and other battery car's favour on several sites.

That was because it was clear that increased volume and incremental improvement to lithium batteries would greatly reduce cost without fundamental shifts and breakthroughs.

And here, I do not seek to argue that fuel cells will be just fine for lightweight cars, and extraordinarily cheap, although for instance Antonelli's and Kubagen's magnesium hydride storage if they pull it off would do just that, as would for instance extraordinarily cheap hydrogen from stimulation of rocks to release hydrogen.

I don't argue that sort of case, as there is no way of knowing whether it can be made to work.

For a decade and more I have been awaiting the battery which will do the lot, and substantial although not revolutionary progress has been made, and I am still waiting

The bottom line is that I will be very pleased if indeed if someone manages to pull off a relatively lightweight 200KWh plus battery from earth friendly abundant materials at good cost.

But I have no way of knowing when or if that will happen, as it is breakthrough stuff, not incremental.

And right now , with present tech, fuel cells can certainly do the job.

That may be fine for pick ups where such a vehicle is essential, but I must be the worst of supposedly hydrogen advocates, as I certainly hope that we see minimal numbers of such beasts on the road,

Bottom line:

One can make reasonable projections about incremental improvements, not about radically different breakthrough stuff.

DM>with present tech, fuel cells can certainly do the job.

Yes, but not at competitive costs, when measured on a TCO cost per mile basis.

My confidence in near future (5-10 year) battery technology is based on looking at what is being demonstrated in the lab and in small production runs now and assessing whether those new cells require something really exotic to reach mass production or improvements in process and yield (difficult enough, but not a breakthrough like an entirely new chemistry).

The cost curve for light duty vehicles is a fair analog.

My 2013 Tesla Model S had 265 miles of range. Cost $90k

A current Model S has 400 mile range and costs about the same.

The Leaf and other affordable small cars have gone through a similar evolution, now have 250-320 mile range and are still affordable, especially when considering TCO.

That battery tech and price performance curve apply to the cells and packs used in bigger trucks, although adjusted for much lower pack volume.

I’m not counting on breakthroughs, just continued solid performance and scale.

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