Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck cracks 1,000km mark with one fill of liquid hydrogen

A prototype Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck covered a distance of 1,047km between Woerth am Rhein and Berlin; The record drive with sealed tanks and controlled mileage was independently confirmed by TUV Rheinland.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 27 Sep 2023 Views icon4462 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Daimler Truck has successfully demonstrated that hydrogen fuel-cell technology can be the right solution to decarbonise flexible and demanding long-haul road transportation. A public road-approved prototype of the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck completed Daimler Truck’s ‘HydrogenRecordRun’ covering 1,047km of distance driven with one fill of liquid hydrogen.   

Powered by a cellcentric fuel-cell system and equipped with a liquid hydrogen fuel tank system, the run started on Monday (September 25) in the afternoon at Mercedes-Benz Truck’s Customer Center in Woerth am Rhein and finished on Tuesday morning (September 26) in Germany’s capital city Berlin. The truck completed the run fully loaded and a gross combined vehicle weight of 40 tons under real-life conditions, without emitting any CO2 during the complete run. The record drive with sealed tanks and controlled mileage was independently confirmed by an inspection document from TUV Rheinland.

After the successful record run, Andreas Gorbach, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG, Head of Truck Technology, drove the truck across the finish line in the Ministergarten in Berlin: “To decarbonise transport, we need both battery-electric and hydrogen-powered drive technologies. The sweet spot for fuel cell trucks lies in flexible and demanding long-haul transportation tasks. By cracking the 1,000-kilometre mark with one fill, we have now impressively demonstrated: Hydrogen in trucks is anything but hot air, and we are making very good progress on the road to series production. At the same time, our record run today is a reminder that decarbonizing transportation requires two other factors in addition to the right drive technologies: a green energy infrastructure and competitive costs compared to conventional vehicles." 

The truck completed the run fully loaded and a gross combined vehicle weight of 40 tons under real-life conditions, without emitting any CO2.

Ahead of the run, the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck was fuelled with liquid hydrogen at Daimler Truck’s filling station at the company’s development and testing centre in Woerth. The hydrogen supplied by Air Liquide is of renewable origin, as it has been produced from biomethane with guarantees of origin. During the refuelling process, cryogenic liquid hydrogen at minus 253deg Celsius was filled into two 40 kg tanks mounted on either side of the truck chassis. Thanks to the particularly good insulation of the vehicle tanks, the hydrogen can be kept at temperature for a sufficiently long time without active cooling. Both tanks were sealed before the start of the #HydrogenRecordRun by TÜV Rheinland. 

Daimler Truck states that it prefers liquid hydrogen in the development of hydrogen-based drives. In this aggregate state the energy carrier has a significantly higher energy density in relation to volume compared to gaseous hydrogen. 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.  

THREE YEARS OF HYDROGEN-POWERED TRUCKING

Three years ago, on September 16, 2020, Daimler Truck announced in Berlin the commitment to invest in hydrogen technology on a grand scale. CEO Martin Daum presented the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck Concept for the first time to the public to underline the company’s technology strategy. 

This was followed up by establishing cellcentric, a joint venture with Volvo Group, which will put one of Europe’s largest production facilities for fuel-cells in operation.

Since 2021, first prototypes of the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck are undergoing rigorous testing and have most recently demonstrated their capabilities at the Brenner Pass, one of Europe's busiest and most challenging transit routes. The successful #HydrogenRecordRun now marks a further milestone on the road to sustainable transportation.​ First fuel-cell trucks are expected to be tested in customer hands in the coming years, while the goal remains firmly set to introduce the series version of the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck in the second half of the decade.​ 

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