Mercedes-Benz is one of the manufacturers that does not close the door to any technology to reduce polluting emissions from transport. The German company has battery electric vehicles in its portfolio but is also investing in fuel cell technology. An example of this is the Mercedes-Benz GenH2, its future hydrogen truck, which the firm has already begun to test as part of a development that will last for the next few years.
Daimler Trucks electrifies long-distance transportation with hydrogen and fuel cells. The German company has announced that it has been running the first tests of the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 since last April, a hydrogen-electric truck presented last year with which Mercedes aims to achieve 1,000 kilometres of autonomy in its production version.
The tests will focus, among other things, on checking the continued operation of all components in different road and weather conditions, and on various driving manoeuvres. very demanding tests in which it will have to meet the same durability requirements as a conventional diesel Mercedes-Benz Actros, which, according to Mercedes-Benz, travels 1.2 million kilometres on the road over ten years and reaches a total of 25,000 hours of operation.
And we can not forget that the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 has been designed completely from scratch to a large extent, and what this implies. New components include the fuel cell system, the all-electric powertrain, and all associated systems such as the cooling unit. The added weight of the new components and their position in the vehicle affect the handling properties of the truck. Vibrations caused by bumps in the road, for example, subject the fuel cell truck to different forces than conventional diesel trucks.
To get a realistic idea of its performance from an early stage of development, the current prototype is loaded during testing with a ballast/payload of up to 25 tonnes to a gross weight of around 40 tonnes, which is identical to the intended specifications for the serial production variant of the GenH2 Truck.
Daimler Trucks prefers to use liquid hydrogen because, in this state, the energy carrier has a much higher energy density relative to volume than hydrogen gas. As a result, the tanks of a fuel cell truck that uses liquid hydrogen are much smaller and, due to the lower pressure they have to withstand, much lighter (they do not need to be as reinforced). In this way, trucks have more cargo space and a higher payload. At the same time, more hydrogen can be transported, greatly increasing the range of the trucks.
Daimler Trucks experts are advancing the development of tank technologies for liquid hydrogen-based on a predefined development plan. By the end of the year, engineers anticipate having the new tank system prototype mature enough to be able to use it to continue the ongoing testing of the GenH2 Truck. The truck will then be tested exclusively with liquid hydrogen tank systems until the series production phase is reached. Until this can be done, internal testing of the GenH2 truck will use a hydrogen gas reservoir system as an interim solution. In this way, Daimler Trucks proves in passing that both variants, the soft drink and the liquid, can be technically applied. @via Mercedes-Benz.