Under their memorandum of understanding, bp said it will assess the feasibility of designing, constructing, operating and supplying up to 25 green hydrogen refuelling stations across the UK by 2030. For their part, Daimler Truck expects to deliver hydrogen-powered fuel-cell trucks to its UK customers from 2025.
“Hydrogen is critical to decarbonising hard-to-abate sectors – and for heavy and long-distance freight it is sometimes the only answer,” said Emma Delaney, bp’s executive vice president for customer and products. “Working with a leading manufacturer like Daimler Truck AG we can accelerate the deployment of both vehicles and infrastructure and pioneer the use of hydrogen to fuel the next generation of [UK] freight.”
Daimler Truck intends to offer new vehicles that are CO2-neutral to drive in Europe, North America and Japan by 2039 and is focussing on technologies including battery power and hydrogen fuel-cells. Currently, the truck manufacturer is testing a new enhanced prototype of its Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck on public roads in Germany with customer handover expected in 2027.
Daimler Truck is said to have expressed ‘a clear preference’ for liquid hydrogen, which has a higher energy density in relation to volume than hydrogen gas. As a result, the tanks of a fuel-cell truck using liquid hydrogen are much smaller and, due to the lower pressure, significantly lighter, which gives trucks more cargo space and a higher payload. At the same time, more hydrogen can be carried, which increases the trucks’ range.
Karin Rådström, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Member of the Board of Management at Daimler Truck said: “We are consistently pursuing our vision of CO2-neutral transport. Especially for CO2-neutral long-haul road transportation, the hydrogen-powered fuel-cell drive will become indispensable in the future. Together with bp we want to jointly develop and scale the required hydrogen infrastructure by putting our hydrogen-powered fuel-cell trucks into our customers’ hand and thus supporting the decarbonization of the UK freight network.”
Bp added that it intends to develop hydrogen refuelling stations in Europe and has plans for hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany. In the UK, bp has plans to build a hydrogen-producing facility in Teesside which could produce 1GW of blue hydrogen, produced from natural gas integrated with carbon capture and storage. The company is also exploring the potential for green hydrogen in the region, including supporting the development of Teesside as the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub.