Commercial vehicle manufacturer, Daimler Trucks, has gotten closer to testing fuel cell vehicles on public roads.
Last month the prototype Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck began a rigourous evaluation program.
During an extensive series of tests, the vehicle and its components were assessed on continuous operation against different weather and road conditions and according to various driving manoeuvres.
Daimler Trucks is focusing on hydrogen-powered fuel-cells for the electrification of its vehicles for flexible and demanding long haul transport.
The company confirmed it was aiming to achieve ranges of up to 1,000 kilometres and more without any stops for refuelling.
Development engineers at Daimler Trucks are at present designing the GenH2 Truck so that the vehicle and its components meet the same durability requirements as a comparable conventional Mercedes-Benz Actros.
In metrics this will look like 1.2 million kilometres on the road over a period of ten years and a total of 25,000 hours of operation.
According to Daimler Trucks, the vehicle has, during the first few weeks of testing, already covered hundreds of kilometres under continuous load on a road-to-rig test stand and gone through many extreme situations that are based on real-life operating conditions.
Further examples of this include emergency braking and kerbstone drives along the test track.
According to its development plan, the vehicle will also be tested on public roads before the end of the year with customer trials scheduled to begin as early as 2023.
The first series-produced GenH2 Trucks are expected to be handed over to customers starting in 2027.
Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG said program was currently moving ahead to schedule.
“We are consistently pursuing our technology strategy for the electrification of our trucks. We want to offer our customers the best locally CO2-neutral trucks — powered by either batteries or hydrogen-based fuel-cells, depending on the use case. We’re right on schedule and I’m delighted that the rigorous tests of the GenH2 Truck have started successfully,” he said in a statement.
“The hydrogen-powered fuel-cell drive will become indispensable for CO2-neutral long haul road transport in the future. This is also confirmed by our many partners with whom we are working together at full steam to put this technology on the road in series-production vehicles,” he said.
“Moreover, considerable momentum is being generated by the clear commitment of national and European regulators to the use of hydrogen for road freight transport. Political support plays an important role in promoting the creation of an infrastructure for green hydrogen and making an economically viable use of fuel-cell trucks possible for our customers.”