Daimler Truck to Explore Abu Dhabi’s Green Hydrogen Supply

Abu Dhabi-Based Energy Firm Masdar Partnering With Daimler to Extract Liquid Hydrogen
Daimler EV for Meijer
A Daimler Freightliner eCascadia all-electric semitruck ahead of a Meijer delivery in Lansing, Mich. (Emily Elconin/Bloomberg News)

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Daimler Truck AG and Abu Dhabi agreed to explore the Gulf state’s supply of green hydrogen to power future fuel cell rigs in Europe.

The partners have signed an initial pact that could see shipments start by 2030, the world’s biggest commercial vehicle maker and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, known as Masdar, said Jan. 25. Masdar has committed to invest more than $30 billion in renewable energy projects with a goal of making the Gulf state a leader in green hydrogen.

“Our initiative marks an initial step for us to enable the supply of liquid green hydrogen in Europe,” Daimler Truck CEO Martin Daum said in a statement.

Truck makers are pursuing battery-electric as well as fuel cell technology to shift to zero-emission transportation. Last year, the company teamed up with engine specialist Cummins Inc. and truck manufacturer Paccar Inc. to build a battery plant in the U.S., with the three firms expecting to invest up to $3 billion.

In the partnership with Masdar, Daimler Truck sees its role as a catalyst for change and logistics planning, Daum said in a call with reporters. The truck maker doesn’t plan to operate hydrogen transport ships, pipelines or gas stations. Daimler Truck will invest in developing fuel cell trucks, with first sales of hydrogen-powered longhaul rigs starting in 2027. By 2030, Daimler aims to sell 10,000 hydrogen-powered rigs annually.

Neither technology offers an easy way forward, and requires significant investment in charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure. In 2021, Daimler, Volvo and VW’s truck maker Traton set up a joint venture for a European charging network for trucks and buses, planning to invest 500 million euros ($545 million) for at least 1,700 charging points by about 2027.

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