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Mercedes-Benz says the cost of running diesel trucks must rise in order to make zero-emission

Mercedes-Benz is calling for the cost of running diesel-powered trucks to be increased, in order to boost the appeal of zero-tailpipe-emission vehicles.

"This could be done by either increasing the cost of the fuel, or the tolls for diesel trucks," said Andreas Gorbach (pictured), member of the board of management of Daimler Truck, head of truck technology. "I think it is inevitable in order to make battery-electric and fuel cell trucks more attractive for our customers."

Speaking in Berlin yesterday (26 September) after a Mercedes-Benz GenH2 prototype truck completed a 1,047km journey on one tank of liquid hydrogen, Gorbach said making zero-tailpipe-emission trucks economically viable is one of three things needed to boost their appeal.

The second is a decent infrastructure of competitively-priced green energy, and the third is readily available, and reliable product. "We will definitely have the product," he confirmed. "We already have battery-electric trucks in series production, and we are making very good progress on the road to series production of hydrogen fuel cell trucks."

Gorbach confirmed Daimler's dual-track approach to alternatively-fuelled trucks. Battery-electric is its choice for distribution, as well as for long-distance haulage on planned routes with suitable mileages and charging options.

However, it believes hydrogen fuel cell could be a better option for more flexible heavy-duty and long-distance haulage.

"To decarbonise transport, we need both battery-electric and hydrogen-powered drive technologies," he explained. "The sweet spot for fuel cell trucks lies in flexible and demanding long-haul transportation tasks. By cracking the 1,000km mark with one fill, we have now impressively demonstrated that hydrogen in trucks is anything but hot air."


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