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Daimler Truck affirms ‘dual-track’ electrification strategy with battery-electric and hydrogen

Source: Daimler Truck

Global commercial vehicle maker, Daimler Truck has vowed to consistently pursue a 'dual-track' strategy in the electrification of its portfolio, with both battery-electric and hydrogen-based drives. The combined strategy that takes into account the diverse transportation needs of its customers enables the company to offer optimal transport solutions for all applications, it claims.

Daimler Truck is already offering Mercedes-Benz eActros battery-electric series production trucks in the international markets, with three new models set to go into production this year. On the other hand, Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck fuel-cell prototype has been undergoing intensive testing since last year. The development goal is a range of up to 1,000 kilometers and even longer for the series production vehicle, with the production launch planned for 2027.

In addition, the company, together with Volvo Group, founded a JV named 'cellcentric' last year to manufacture fuel-cell systems for trucking applications. It has plans to set up one of the largest series production facilities for fuel-cells in Europe starting in 2025.

"There will always be discussions that only deal with partial aspects of different alternative drive technologies such as energy efficiency. In fact, energy efficiency is higher with battery-electric drives than with hydrogen-based drives, but the big picture is often forgotten", says Dr. Andreas Gorbach, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG, Head of Truck Technology.

"In addition to energy efficiency, the availability of a corresponding infrastructure and the availability of sufficient green energy are decisive for a successful conversion to zero-emission technologies. We are convinced that this energy requirement can only be covered quickly and cost-effectively with both technologies", he adds.

The company is convinced that hydrogen-based drives can be the better solution for flexible and demanding applications in heavy-duty transport and long-haul applications. For electric trucks, the same as for conventional trucks applies.

"When choosing their vehicles, transport companies make rational purchasing decisions based on total cost of ownership. We see advantages in terms of the costs and technical feasibility of the hydrogen infrastructure, as well as greater ranges, flexibility and shorter refueling times for customers", notes Dr. Gorbach.

"Therefore, hydrogen trucks can be a viable option, especially in tough long-haul operations and notably in terms of total cost of ownership - even if the energy efficiency is lower. When it comes to the question of the best transport solution, energy efficiency is an important but far from sufficient criterion".

"Our ambition is to offer only new vehicles that are carbon-neutral in driving operation in our global core markets by 2039. Consequently, we will offer our customers a tailor-made zero-emissions solution for every transport task", he affirms.

With Linde, Daimler Truck has been developing the next generation of liquid hydrogen refueling technology for fuel-cell trucks for some time. With this cooperation, the partners aim to make filling up with hydrogen as easy and practical as possible.

In the field of infrastructure for hydrogen filling stations along important transport routes in Europe, the company is planning to work together with the companies Shell, BP and TotalEnergies. In addition, Daimler Truck, IVECO, Linde, OMV, Shell, TotalEnergies and the Volvo Group have committed to work together to help create the conditions for the mass-market roll-out of hydrogen trucks in Europe as part of H2Accelerate (H2A) initiative. 

Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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