Daimler Truck, Shell plan corridor for hydrogen-powered fuel-cell trucks

Daimler Truck and Shell have signed an agreement to jointly drive the adoption of hydrogen-based fuel-cell trucks in Europe. The companies plan to support the decarbonisation of road freight by building hydrogen-refuelling infrastructure.

The agreement builds on Daimler Truck’s fuel-cell truck rollout plans and on Shell Group’s existing hydrogen refuelling networks in Europe and North America.

Shell intends to initially roll out a hydrogen-refuelling corridor joining three green hydrogen production hubs — port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and Cologne and Hamburg in Germany.

From 2024, Shell aims to launch heavy-duty refuelling stations between the three cities while Daimler Truck aims to hand over the first heavy-duty hydrogen-powered trucks to customers subsequently in 2025. The plan is to expand the hydrogen-powered freight corridor, which will cover 1,200 kilometres by 2025, by delivering 150 hydrogen refuelling stations and around 5,000 Mercedes-Benz heavy-duty fuel-cell trucks by 2030.

Daimler Truck intends to accelerate the development and deployment of hydrogen fuel-cell trucks (FCEV). The high energy density of hydrogen, quick refuelling times and the likely development of a hydrogen energy system in many markets have convinced Daimler Truck that FCEVs will play a key role in commercial transportation. The company is in the process of laying the foundation to play a major role in this emerging ecosystem with the cellcentric JV with Volvo AB, and with a technology and infrastructure roadmap.

The company’s agreement with Shell includes the joint aim of establishing an open refuelling standard defining the interaction and interface between the truck and the refuelling station in order to realise customer-friendly, cost-efficient, reliable and safe hydrogen refuelling.

The two companies are open to the idea of including other potential partners in this venture.

Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Office of Royal Dutch Shell plc, said, “We want to help our customers lower their emissions by accelerating the speed at which hydrogen trucks become a commercially viable alternative to diesel equivalents. Shell and Daimler Truck intend to work together to support policies that will help to realise this key moment for fuel-cell trucks, and we invite other interested OEMs and industry partners to join us.”

Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG and Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, said, “Shell and Daimler Truck are convinced that hydrogen-powered fuel-cell trucks will be key for enabling CO2-neutral transportation in the future. With this unparalleled collaboration between two major players of the industry, we are pioneers in tackling the question of what should come first: infrastructure or vehicles. The answer is that both have to go hand in hand, and we are both excited by this important step.”

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