Daimler Truck and Shell agreed to work on developing hydrogen-refuelling infrastructure and deploying fuel-cell trucks in Europe.
Shell aims to initially develop a hydrogen-refuelling network joining three green hydrogen production hubs at the Port of Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and Cologne as well as Hamburg (Germany), where heavy-duty refuelling stations be launched from 2024. Daimler Truck plan is to start supplying its first heavy-duty hydrogen trucks in 2025.
The key challenge for fuel cell trucks technology is infrastructure. Both partners aim to expand the freight corridor up to 1200 km between Rotterdam, Hamburg and Cologne, which would then consist of 150 hydrogen refuelling stations serving around 5,000 Mercedes-Benz heavy-duty fuel cell trucks by 2030. The bilateral partnership is also open for other potential partners.
Ben van Beurden, CEO 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.”
Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck 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.”
Mr Daum further added, “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.”
Both partners are founding members of the recently launched H2Accelerate consortium. Daimler Truck also plans to be an independent company to accelerate its strategic ambitions and address its financial performance.