Daimler Trucks plans to replace diesel with hydrogen
Several automakers around the world have already entered the arena of hydrogen fuel cell technology, and now it is the turn of the truck manufacturers. Daimler, the world’s largest manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks, has announced that it will convert its large carriers to zero-emission vehicles within the next 15 years, with the aim of reducing its tailpipe emissions.
(Also Read: Hyundai Set To Kick Off The Hydrogen Game As New Trucks Arrive In Europe)
However, Daimler Trucks is not taking the most popular route to explore zero-emission mobility, which is electric powertrains. Instead, the German CV maker is considering the use of hydrogen fuel cell technology. Daimler argues that a battery-powered electric powertrain is not ideal for long-haul 18-wheelers, as the weight of the batteries alone subtracts too much from payload capacity, an important factor for concerned trucking companies. costs.
Fuel cell technology for large trucks is nothing new, however, as apart from Daimler other truck manufacturers are also considering the same plan. Like battery-powered electric powertrain technology, fuel cells produce no tailpipe emissions. In addition, hydrogen tanks can be filled as quickly as diesel tanks, which is an advantage over batteries which take a long time to recharge.
Daimler has started testing a prototype long-haul GenH2 truck powered by the hydrogen fuel cell and capable of traveling 965 km without refueling. However, much remains to be done to reduce the cost of equipment. The company now plans to sell long-haul, hydrogen-powered trucks by 2027 that will be cheaper to purchase and operate than diesel trucks.
Daimler has partnered with Shell to build a hydrogen corridor of refueling stations across Northern Europe to support its lang carriers which will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells. For shorter trucks, Daimler has partnered with Chinese company CATL to develop batteries.
Additionally, in March 2020, Daimler and Volvo Trucks teamed up to form a joint venture to develop fuel cell systems to convert hydrogen into electricity to power long-haul trucks.