Daimler Trials New Truck Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powertrains

Daimler has begun trials of new hydrogen fuel cell powertrains aimed at accelerating adoption of the technology for heavy duty trucks in the US.

Its US subsidiary, Daimler Truck North America, has teamed up with powertrain specialist Cummins to upfit and validate fuel cell powered Freightliner Cascadia trucks. Freightliner will deploy Cummins’ fourth generation fuel cell powertrain, which claims improved power density, efficiency and durability.

The joint effort will support both organizations’ goals to reduce emissions across product offerings and operations. Upon successful validation, the companies intend to have initial units available in 2024 for selected customers.

Rakesh Aneja, vice-president and chief of eMobility at Daimler Truck North America, said: “CO2-neutral commercial transportation must not only be technically feasible but also economically viable for our valued customers. Depending on the customer application and energy infrastructure considerations, hydrogen-powered vehicles can absolutely complement battery-powered electric vehicles in accelerating our carbon-neutral journey. We are pleased to expand our partnership with Cummins to include hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles in our future portfolio.  We remain focused on serving our customers by providing them with a choice of propulsion-technologies, ultimately resulting in solutions that best suit their business needs.”

Amy Davis, vice-president and president of new power at Cummins, added: “Cummins and Daimler Truck have a strong history of partnership, and this next step into fuel cell electric vehicles is an exciting development for zero-emissions transport. Hydrogen fuel cells are a promising solution for the demanding requirements of heavy-duty trucking. Our collaboration in this market is an important milestone for both companies as we work to accelerate the shift to a carbon-free economy.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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