Mercedes-Benz has received approval from German authorities for the prototype GenH2 Truck hydrogen-based fuel-cell truck for use on public roads.
Unveiled in 2020, the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck has been operating on the company’s test tracks since April this year.
The truck, which aims to achieve ranges of up to more than 1,000 kilometres without any stops for refuelling has successfully accumulated several thousand miles of testing.
Testing has now expanded to public roads as part of what is called the eWayBW project which includes various types of electric freight vehicles.
The project will also include comparative tests of the purely battery-electric Mercedes-Benz eActros with “catenary” trucks which draw their power from overhead cables in a similar way to trams, and fuel-cell trucks from other manufacturers.
Daimler Truck has confirmed it has no plans itself for catenary trucks.
Since July 2019, the purely battery-electric Mercedes-Benz eActros has undergone extensive field-testing in the region around the German town of Rastatt with freight company Logistik Schmitt.
With the approval for road use of the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck, Daimler Truck has reached an important milestone on the way to achieving series production of its hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
The first series-produced GenH2 Trucks are expected to be delivered to customers starting in 2027.
Daimler Truck has the ambition to offer only new vehicles that are carbon-neutral in their driving operation (“tank-to-wheel”) in Europe, Japan and North America by 2039.
To achieve this goal, Daimler Truck is pursuing a dual-track strategy with the use of battery-powered drive systems and drivelines using hydrogen fuel cells.
Daimler Truck says this combination of technologies will enable it to offer customers the best vehicle options for their specific use cases with light load/short distance applications more likely to use batteries, while heavier loads over longer distances will have fuel cells as the system of choice.