Daimler Truck builds liquid hydrogen vehicles for customer trials

The manufacturer is building a fleet of GenH2 trucks headed into real-world testing at select customers. From mid-2024, the hydrogen trucks will enter operations at Amazon, Air Products, Holcim, INEOS and Wiedmann & Winz.

Image: Daimler Truck

Following intensive test track and public road trials, Daimler Truck considers its GenH2 truck at an “advanced development stage” and ready for the first customer trials. The company describes this step as entry into the next development phase before series production, set in 2027.

The fleet will initially comprise five test vehicles, which are expected to be put into service by the companies Amazon, Air Products, Holcim, INEOS and Wiedmann & Winz from mid-2024. “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,” writes Daimler Truck.

Andreas Gorbach, a Member of the Board of Management responsible for Truck Technology, considers the trial phase a win-win situation: “Our customers get to know fuel-cell technology in daily real-life operation, and our engineering team gets to better understand customer needs and relevant use cases, taking them into account for series development.”

The GenH2 trucks run on liquid hydrogen (known as LH2) as a fuel. Earlier prototypes of the model still worked with four pressurised tanks. As Daimler Truck announces in the current press release, the five vehicles will be refuelled at “designated public liquid hydrogen filling stations” around Wörth am Rhein and Duisburg, Germany. The company adds that this was a “lighthouse project”, which may be read as a different way of saying that liquid hydrogen refuelling infrastructure is virtually non-existent but will have to be built up.

Test customer Air Products added that it was “proud to be involved in this lighthouse project with Daimler Truck”. The company will deploy the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck to transport cylinder gases. “We are also proud to be providing Daimler Truck with some of the necessary refuelling infrastructure and hydrogen as part of the trials. Our latest mobile fueling station for liquid hydrogen will be used for the project in the Duisburg area and can, therefore, operate under real conditions,” Caroline Stancell, General Manager of Hydrogen for Mobility at Air Products, explains.

In Wörth, Daimler will apply a new refuelling process for liquid hydrogen. The so-called “sLH2 technology” or “subcooled” liquid hydrogen was developed jointly with Linde and is freely available to all interested companies via an ISO standard. Daimler says it has an even higher storage density than LH2 and is easier to refuel within 10–15 minutes. The companies are planning a fuel-cell truck pilot station in Wörth am Rhein for the beginning of 2024.

The production-ready GenH2 truck targets a range of up to 1,000 kilometres and more, as announced at the presentation of the concept vehicle in September 2020. The manufacturer demonstrated that this is a realistic goal with its Hydrogen Record Run in September. As part of this, a GenH2 truck drove 1,047 kilometres in Germany on one liquid hydrogen tank.



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