Discussion battery-electric vs. hydrogen: Daimler Truck consistently pursuing dual-track strategy with both technologies

Discussion battery-electric vs. hydrogen: Daimler Truck consistently pursuing dual-track strategy with both technologies

Feb 11, 2022
Stuttgart
  • Comprehensive introduction of zero-emission technologies needs to take into account customer’s diverse transportation needs.
  • Combination of battery-electric and hydrogen-based drive technologies enables optimal transport solutions for all applications.
  • Daimler Truck already offers battery-electric series production vehicles.
  • Hydrogen-based drives can be the better solution for demanding transport tasks that require greater range and flexibility.
  • Dr. Andreas Gorbach, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG, Head of Truck Technology: “There will always be discussions that only deal with partial aspects of different alternative drive technologies such as energy efficiency. In fact, energy efficiency is higher with battery-electric drives than with hydrogen-based drives, but the big picture is often forgotten. In addition to energy efficiency, the availability of a corresponding infrastructure and the availability of sufficient green energy are decisive for a successful conversion to zero-emission technologies. We are convinced that this energy requirement can only be covered quickly and cost-effectively with both technologies.”

Stuttgart – Which technology drives a CO2-neutral future? No question currently occupies the truck industry, the energy sector and politics like this one. Daimler Truck has clearly set its strategic course and is consistently pursuing a dual-track strategy in the electrification of its portfolio with both battery-electric and hydrogen-based drives. The background here is in the widely different applications and tasks for trucks. Hydrogen-based drives can be the better solution especially for flexible and demanding applications in the important segment of heavy-duty transport and long-haul applications. For electric trucks, the same as for conventional trucks applies. When choosing their vehicles, transport companies make rational purchasing decisions based on total cost of ownership. They are unwilling to compromise on their trucks’ suitability for everyday use, tonnage and range. Daimler Truck will continue to offer its customers optimal vehicle solutions for the full range of applications.

Dr. Andreas Gorbach, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG, Head of Truck Technology: "There will always be discussions that only deal with partial aspects of different alternative drive technologies such as energy efficiency. In fact, energy efficiency is higher with battery-electric drives than with hydrogen-based drives, but the big picture is often forgotten. In addition to energy efficiency, the availability of a corresponding infrastructure and the availability of sufficient green energy are decisive for a successful conversion to zero-emission technologies. We are convinced that this energy requirement can only be covered quickly and cost-effectively with both technologies. In the future, hardly any country in the world will be able to be self-sufficient when it comes to green energy at competitive prices. Consequently, they will have to engage in global trade with CO2-neutral energy sources. Green hydrogen will play a central role here. We assume it will be traded at very attractive prices in the future. We also see advantages in terms of the costs and technical feasibility of the hydrogen infrastructure, as well as greater ranges, flexibility and shorter refueling times for customers. Therefore, hydrogen trucks can be a viable option for our customers, especially in tough long-haul operations and notably in terms of total cost of ownership - even if the energy efficiency is lower. When it comes to the question of the best transport solution, energy efficiency is an important but far from sufficient criterion."

“As one of the world's largest commercial vehicle manufacturers, we are committed to the Paris Climate Agreement. Our ambition is to offer only new vehicles that are carbon-neutral in driving operation in our global core markets by 2039. Consequently, we will offer our customers a tailor-made zero-emissions solution for every transport task. With the enormous tailwind of numerous partners from industry and politics, we will successfully get both technologies on the road,” Gorbach continues.

More than 40 governments worldwide have launched comprehensive hydrogen action plans. The basis for this is the insight that, in the long term, only hydrogen enables a stable, fully renewable power supply as an energy that can be stored. There are also numerous applications that can only be decarbonized with hydrogen. This clear signal for a hydrogen-based energy system of the future has already led to extensive announcements by many global companies. Experts expect hundreds of billions of euros will be invested in this decade in hydrogen production, transport and infrastructure.

Comprehensive commitment to hydrogen

With Linde, Daimler Truck has been developing the next generation of liquid hydrogen refueling technology for fuel-cell trucks for some time. With this cooperation, the partners aim to make filling up with hydrogen as easy and practical as possible. In the field of infrastructure for hydrogen filling stations along important transport routes in Europe, Daimler Truck is planning to work together with the companies Shell, BP and TotalEnergies. In addition, Daimler Truck, IVECO, Linde, OMV, Shell, TotalEnergies and the Volvo Group have committed to work together to help create the conditions for the mass-market roll-out of hydrogen trucks in Europe as part of H2Accelerate (H2A).

Fuel-cell joint venture cellcentric with Volvo Group

Together with the Volvo Group, Daimler Truck is committed to hydrogen-based fuel-cells. Both companies founded their joint venture cellcentric in 2021. cellcentric's goal is to become one of the world's leading manufacturers of fuel-cell systems. To this end, the company plans to set up one of the largest series production facilities in Europe starting in 2025.

Daimler Truck is consistently implementing a dual-track strategy

The Mercedes-Benz eCitaro and Mercedes-Benz eActros battery-electric vehicles have been in series production since 2018 and 2021 respectively. The Mercedes-Benz eEconic, the FUSO eCanter and the Freightliner eCascadia will follow later this year and other vehicles are in the pipeline. On the hydrogen side, the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck fuel-cell prototype has been undergoing intensive testing since last year – both on the in-house test track and on public roads. The development goal is a range of up to 1,000 kilometers and longer for the series production vehicle, with the production launch planned for 2027.

Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck public road testing
22DT014_003
Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck prototype
22DT014_002
 Daimler Truck consequently pursues Dual-Strategy: Battery-electric and
22DT014_001
Daimler Truck setzt Elektrifizierung des Produktportfolios konsequent um
22DT014_004


© 2022 Daimler Truck AG. All rights reserved.
Loading