Daimler Truck AG and BP Advanced Mobility Limited announced plans to work together to introduce a hydrogen network, supporting the decarbonization of UK freight transport. They intend to pilot both the development of hydrogen infrastructure and the introduction of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell trucks in the UK.

Under their memorandum of understanding (MoU), BP will assess the feasibility of designing, constructing, operating and supplying a network of up to 25 hydrogen refuelling stations across the UK by 2030.

These stations would be supplied by BP with ‘green’ hydrogen – generated from water using renewable energy. Complementing this, Daimler Truck expects to deliver hydrogen-powered fuel-cell trucks to its UK customers from 2025.

Daimler Truck aims to offer only new vehicles that are CO2-neutral in driving operation in Europe, North America, and Japan by 2039. The company is working on both battery power and hydrogen-based fuel-cell technologies.

Currently, the truck manufacturer is testing a new enhanced prototype of its Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck on public roads in Germany. The first GenH2 Truck are expected to be handed over to customers in 2027.

Daimler Truck has a preference for liquid hydrogen. In this state, the energy carrier has a far higher energy density in relation to volume than gaseous hydrogen. Daimler reasons the result is the tanks of a fuel-cell truck using liquid hydrogen are much smaller and, due to the lower pressure, significantly lighter. This gives the trucks more cargo space and a higher payload. At the same time, more hydrogen can be carried, which significantly increases the trucks’ range.

This will make H2 powered trucks, like today’s diesel trucks, suitable for multi-day, difficult-to-plan long-haul transport and where the daily energy output is high.

BP also intends to develop hydrogen refuelling stations in Europe, outside the UK. BP already has 11,000 electric vehicle charging points globally and is expanding its network to 70,000 by 2030.

In the UK, BP has plans to build a hydrogen-producing facility in Teesside, UK, which could produce 1GW of ‘blue’ hydrogen –  produced from natural gas – a fossil fuel – integrated with carbon capture and storage.

BP is also exploring the potential for ‘green’ hydrogen in this region.