Analysis: Could Daimler’s decision for liquid hydrogen drive delays in the market? – H2 View

Earlier this week, Daimler Trucks unveiled its Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck in a concept video, quickly becoming one of H2 View’s most-read stories over the last seven days.

Based on the Mercedes-Benz Actros, the GenH2 Truck will boast a range of up to 1,000km and more on a single tank of hydrogen, Daimler says.

Customer trials are currently pegged for 2023, it explained, with a target for series production in the ‘second half of the decade’. This latter timeline has been met with disappointment in some quarters, but the topic that has arguably caught the most attention with this announcement is Daimler’s choice of fuel medium.

The question for many is, are the two linked?

The series-production vision of the GenH2 Truck will have a gross vehicle weight of 40 tonnes and a payload of 25 tonnes, based on two liquid hydrogen tanks and a powerful fuel cell system.

Liquid hydrogen. Therein lies the basis for many raised eyebrows.

Various manufacturers are exploring different fuelling systems and capabilities for their hydrogen-powered vehicles, from differences in gaseous pressure (35 MPa vs 70 MPa) to the use of liquid hydrogen solutions – all of which leads to calls for alignment of infrastructure and a strategy to overcome such disparity.

Many believe gaseous systems and refuelling are the optimum choice; indeed Nikola Motor, for example, is of the opinion that the desired range of its Nikola Tre heavy-duty truck combined with a pressing timeline of 2023 can only be met with gaseous systems at 70 MPa pressure. Perhaps this is why Daimler has committed to a timeframe of 2025 onwards.

So why liquid hydrogen?

Conscious effort?

Daimler explained that the combination of two liquid hydrogen tanks and its ‘powerful’ fuel cell system will make the vehicle’s performance comparable to a conventional diesel truck.

Its experts will draw on existing expertise for the
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