Daimler, which has worked on hydrogen technology for decades, is developing a fuel-cell semi with range of up to 600 miles (1000 kilometers) per fueling and next-generation battery trucks amid intensifying competition to curb diesel and carbon exhaust from heavy-duty vehicles.
The German auto giant’s truck unit showed off the Mercedes-Benz GenH2, a concept truck designed for long haul runs that will be tested by customers in 2023, at an event in Berlin Tuesday outlining steps it’s taking to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. Volume production of GenH2s starts in the second half of the 2020s. The company also debuted its Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul, a battery-powered truck for short- and medium-range routes goes about 300 miles (500 kilometers) between charges. eActros production starts in 2024.
Both trucks share Daimler’s new ePowetrain modular platform to help hold costs down. They’ll be available initially in Europe, though versions for North America and Japan will arrive around the same time, the company said.
The combination of hydrogen and battery vehicles “enables us to offer our customers the best vehicle options, depending on the application,” Daimler Chairman Martin Daum said at the event. “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.”