Researchers at Oregon State University are collaborating with Daimler Truck North America to develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered heavy-duty truck for regional and long-distance transport as part of Daimler’s “SuperTruck” project.
The tractor is expected to have a range of 600 miles without sacrificing payload, thanks to new power electronics, engines, and energy management tools. The two researchers, Yue Cao and Alan Fern, have received $860,000 for their role in the four-year Daimler SuperTruck project. The project is part of a larger $162 million initiative funded by the US Department of Energy to improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions among cars, trucks, and off-road vehicles.
Daimler and Volvo Trucks have signed a declaration of intent to bundle their fuel cell activities in a joint venture. In June 2022, Volvo Trucks presented a fuel cell truck with a 1,000-kilometre range using gaseous hydrogen.
In the statement from Oregon State University, it noted that Daimler’s stated goal is: “to develop an array of technologies to demonstrate an innovative hydrogen fuel cell electric tractor that exceeds heavy-duty long-haul sleeper performance, efficiency and range requirements without compromising payload.” In the statement issued by the university, no mention was made of cryogenic technology which suggests the truck being developed will use gaseous hydrogen, which would also be in line with US national hydrogen infrastructure policy which aims to build hydrogen refuelling infrastructure across the country stemming from major US ports.