The world depends on semis to transport goods across the globe, but they’re responsible for a lot of pollution.
Daimler wants fix this so they’ve hosted an event to unveil their electrification strategy for the trucking sector. The big news was the debut of the Mercedes GenH2 concept which is a heavy-duty fuel-cell truck made for long-distance hauling.
Designed to have capabilities similar to the Actros long-haul truck, the GenH2 concept has gross vehicle weight of 40 tons and a payload capacity of 25 tons. More importantly, it has two liquid-hydrogen tanks which each have a storage capacity of 88 lbs (40 kg).
The concept has also been equipped with a 300 kW fuel cell system and a battery which can temporarily provide an additional 400 kW of power. The battery has a capacity of 70 kWh and is designed to “provide situational power support for the fuel cell, for example during peak loads while accelerating or while driving uphill fully loaded.”
In the pre-production truck, there will be two electric motors which each have a peak output of 443 hp (330 kW / 449 PS) and 1,527 lb-ft (2,071 Nm) of torque. However, they have a lower continuous rating of 308 hp (230 kW / 312 PS) and 1,163 lb-ft (1577 Nm).
While semis aren’t particularity exciting, the key takeaway is that the GenH2 will be eco-friendly and have a range of approximately 621 miles (1,000 km) on a single tank of hydrogen. This should make it ideal for long-haul operations.
While the GenH2 is technically a concept, Mercedes confirmed it previews a production model. Customer trails are set to begin in 2023, ahead of series production which is slated for the second half of this decade.
The GenH2 might have been the keynote model, but the that wasn’t the only truck introduced today. Daimler also previewed the Mercedes eActros LongHaul which is a battery-powered long-haul truck which is “designed to cover regular journeys on plannable routes in an energy-efficient manner.”
The eActros LongHaul will have a range of approximately 311 miles (500 km) and is slated to be ready for production in 2024. Mercedes didn’t release too many details, but noted European Union regulations require truck drivers take a minimum 45 minute break after 4.5 hours of driving. Recharging during this time will provide a “large proportion of the energy needed for the ongoing journey.”
While 2024 is still a ways off, the company the said the eActros for distribution transport – which was originally introduced in 2018 – will go into production next year. Daimler added the model will be able to “significantly exceed” the prototype’s range of approximately 124 miles (200 km).
According to Daimler’s Martin Daum, “We are consistently pursuing our vision of CO2-neutral transport with a focus on the genuinely locally CO2-neutral technologies battery power and hydrogen-based fuel cells, which have the potential to succeed in the market in the long term. This combination enables us to offer our customers the best vehicle options, depending on the application.” He went on to say battery powered trucks will be better for lower cargo weights and shorter distances, while fuel-cell models will be the “preferred option for heavier loads and longer distances.”