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Mercedes-Benz premieres fuel cell concept truck

Commercial vehicle maker, Daimler Trucks, has unveiled its technology strategy for the electrification of its vehicles.

Commercial vehicle maker, Daimler Trucks, has unveiled its technology strategy for the electrification of its vehicles.

The event in Berlin focused on the technology for hydrogen-based fuel-cell trucks for the long haul transport segment headlined by the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck.

With the GenH2 Truck, Daimler Trucks is demonstrating for the first time which specific technologies the manufacturer is driving forward at full speed so that heavy-duty fuel cell trucks can perform flexible and demanding long distance haulage operations with ranges of up to 1,000 kilometers and more on a single tank of hydrogen.

Customer trials for the GenH2 Truck are scheduled for 2023. There was no firm date on series production which is anticipated to commence later in the decade.

Thanks to the use of liquid instead of gaseous hydrogen with its higher energy density, the vehicle’s performance is planned to equal that of a comparable conventional diesel truck.

Daimler Trucks also presented for the first time a preview of what has been dubbed the Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul, a purely battery-powered long haul truck, designed to cover regular journeys on plannable routes in an energy-efficient manner.

Its series production is currently slated for 2024.

Range for the Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul on one battery charge is estimated to be around 500 kilometers.

Additionally, with the Mercedes-Benz eActros for distribution transport, which was already presented 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 kilometers.

“Daimler is already the go-to choice for progressive Australian businesses who want to reduce fuel consumption and cut emissions with trucks that employ class-leading safety features,” said Daniel Whitehead Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific President and CEO.

“The Freightliner Cascadia, Mercedes-Benz Actros and Fuso Shogun all feature Euro 6 or equivalent emission-level engines and we will also introduce the all-electric Fuso eCanter here next year. The new models previewed in Berlin, including a CO2-neutral heavy truck with up to 1000km of range, are especially exciting for Australia and point to a very promising future.”

Daimler Trucks 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 (“from tank to wheel”) in Europe, North America and Japan by 2039.

As a new worldwide modular platform architecture, the so-called ePowertrain will be the technological basis of all medium- and heavy-duty CO2-neutral, all-electric series-produced trucks from Daimler Trucks – whether powered purely by batteries or by hydrogen-based fuel cells. It will feature high levels of performance, efficiency and durability. With the ePowertrain, Daimler Trucks plans to achieve synergies and economies of scale for all relevant vehicles and markets.

Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG presented the technology strategy at STATION-Berlin.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

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