After a series of futuristic fuel cell truck launches, the latest launch from Daimler trucks answers a few more questions about exactly how does a hydrogen fuel cell truck work? The launch of the GenH2 truck by the global group coincides with a lot of gossip on business news channels in the US about claims made by fuel cell truck innovator, Nikola.

This latest global event from Daimler sees the truck maker showing off its hydrogen fuel cell concept, which it expects to introduce later in the 2020s. This video goes into some of the technical details.

Earlier this year, Daimler and Volvo signed a preliminary non-binding agreement to establish a new joint venture to develop, produce and commercialise fuel cell systems for heavy-duty vehicle applications and other use cases. Daimler said it would consolidate all its current fuel cell activities in the joint venture. The Volvo Group were set to acquire 50 per cent in the joint venture for just over $1 billion. 

Earlier this week the business press in the uS was full of doubts around fuel cell truck maker Nikola. The report from Hindenburg Research alleged that, “Nikola is an intricate fraud built on dozens of lies over the course of its Founder and Executive Chairman, Trevor Milton’s career.”

After Nikola hit back to try and refute the allegations, making ten points, Hindenburg has stood its ground with a statement that, “”Of those 10 responses, the company debunked nothing. Instead it either confirmed or sidestepped virtually everything we wrote about, and in some cases raised new unanswered questions.”

The fact that Daimler has launched its hydrogen fuel cell in the same week, may be or may not be a coincidence. However, the fact that a major truck maker is coming out with a series of trucks using this technology in such a strong fashion suggests the opportunity window for start-ups like Nikola may be closing as the big boys like Daimler and Volvo come into the game.

Hyundai recently delivered a series of fuel cell trucks to Switzerland to develop a hydrogen-based economy in the country. See the full story of this development in the September issue of Diesel, available here

This week’s Daimler event focused on the technology for hydrogen-based fuel-cell trucks for the long-haul transport segment. The Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck, which had its world premiere as a concept vehicle, marks the beginning of fuel-cell drive. 

With the GenH2 Truck, Daimler says it is demonstrating for the first time which specific technologies the manufacturer is driving forward at full speed so that heavy-duty fuel-cell trucks can perform flexible and demanding long-distance haulage operations with ranges of up to 1,000km and more on a single tank of hydrogen. 

Daimler reckons it will begin customer trials of the GenH2 Truck in 2023; series production is to start in the second half of the decade. Thanks to the use of liquid instead of gaseous hydrogen with its higher energy density, the vehicle’s performance is planned to equal that of a comparable conventional diesel truck.

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