Hydrogen trucks are the future of long-haul transportation. They offer zero-emission, long-range, and fast-refueling capabilities that make them ideal for decarbonizing the trucking industry. But not all hydrogen trucks are created equal. Some use gaseous hydrogen, which has low energy density and requires large and heavy tanks. Others use liquid hydrogen, which has higher energy density and allows for smaller and lighter tanks.
Daimler Truck, the world’s largest truck manufacturer, has chosen the latter option for its Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck, a fuel-cell electric truck that can travel up to 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) on a single tank of liquid hydrogen. The GenH2 Truck is the first of its kind in the world, and it marks a major milestone for Daimler Truck’s ambition to achieve CO2-neutral transportation by 2039.
Now, we will explore how the GenH2 Truck works, what its advantages are over other hydrogen trucks, and what the challenges and opportunities for its deployment are. We will also analyze the writing style of Jonny Lieberman, a senior features editor at MotorTrend, who covers automotive and motorcycle racing and features and lifestyle topics. We will use natural language generation techniques to mimic his style while also being original, informative, and coherent.
The GenH2 Truck: A Breakthrough in Fuel-Cell Technology
The GenH2 Truck is based on the Mercedes-Benz Actros, a heavy-duty truck that is widely used in Europe and other markets. The GenH2 Truck replaces the diesel engine and the transmission with a fuel-cell system and an electric motor. The fuel-cell system consists of two main components: the fuel-cell stack and the hydrogen storage system.
The fuel-cell stack converts hydrogen and oxygen into electricity and water. The electricity powers the electric motor, which drives the rear axle. The water is released as vapor or stored in a tank for later use. The fuel-cell stack can produce up to 300 kilowatts (402 horsepower) of power, which is enough to propel the GenH2 Truck to a top speed of 85 kilometers per hour (53 miles per hour).
The hydrogen storage system consists of two cylindrical tanks that are mounted on the sides of the chassis. Each tank can hold 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of liquid hydrogen at a temperature of -253 degrees Celsius (-423 degrees Fahrenheit) and a pressure of 3 bar (44 psi). The liquid hydrogen is converted into gaseous hydrogen before it enters the fuel-cell stack. The tanks are made of stainless steel and have multilayer insulation to prevent heat transfer and hydrogen loss.
The GenH2 Truck also has a battery that acts as an energy buffer and provides additional power for peak loads. The battery has a capacity of 70 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and can deliver up to 400 kilowatts (536 horsepower) of power. The battery is charged by the fuel-cell stack and by regenerative braking. The battery also enables the GenH2 Truck to operate in electric-only mode, which can be useful for low-noise and low-emission driving in urban areas.