Another competitor enters the hydrogen trucks stage. And this time Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) really needs to pay attention (once they finish with DOJ inquiries). But not just them, Nikola shareholders as well.
On September 16th (today) Daimler is revealing its “next milestone on the road to a CO2 neutral transportation”, H2 Truck.
SO far the complete fuel cell unit and hydrogen storage system for Daimler vehicles was produced by NuCellSys GmbH (wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG), the fuel cell stack is created at Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell and the hydrogen tank system is produced at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Mannheim.
But seems like things are changing for Hydrogen Powered Trcuk. In April this year, Daimler Truck AG concluded a preliminary, non-binding agreement with the Volvo Group to establish a new JV for the development to series maturity, production and commercialization of fuel-cell systems for use in heavy-duty commercial vehicles and other applications. Joining forces will decrease development costs for both companies and accelerate the market introduction of fuel cell systems.
The joint venture is to benefit from the expertise of Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group. To facilitate the joint venture with the Volvo Group, Daimler Truck AG has brought together all Group-wide fuel-cell activities in the newly founded subsidiary Daimler Truck Fuel Cell GmbH & Co. KG.
“Batteries have its limits, that is where hydrogen takes over”-said Andreas Scheuer, German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, and he added that “We need a fast energy turnaround “. During the event he also announced that Germany is going to invest $4.1 billion into hydrogen refueling stations.
Chairman of the Board said that they proved (to themselves) that it is possible to produce hydrogen powered truck but it will take a few years before the serial production starts.
It is expected that new battery powered (eActros LongHaul) truck will have 500km range and will be made for less load, while GenH2 LongHaul (hydrogen powered) truck will have 1000km range and will be made for heavy loads.
Daimler will focus on liquid hydrogen because, according to them, only with liquid H2 refueling is as fast as with gasoline. There are 2 liquid hydrogen tanks with 40 kg capacity each, hydrogen is stored on a temperature close to absolute zero temperature. GenH2 truck also comes with 70kw batteries to help out the Fuel Cells when needed.
Battery powered eActros is expected to hit the market in 2021 while GenH2 truck will get first commercial customers in 2023 while massive production is expected towards the end of the decade.
Daimler Chairman of the Board also commented on a question, raised by a reporter. Reporter asked about “the U.S. startup” (thinking about Nikola) that is making the waves in the hydrogen trucking sector and how Daimler product compares to them-“I do not have any illusions that we will have the market for ourselves, we take all the competition seriously, but we do not fear the competition”. he said.
“If we promise something to our customers we are usually able to deliver and that is why we need to test everything before serial production.”-added Sven Ennerst, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG responsible for Development, Procurement and the China Region.
Daimler Hydrogen Truck live event started at 7am EDT.
NKLA shares are down more than 7% in pre-market session. On the other side JPMorgan and Bankhaus Lampe have rated the Daimler share as a “buy”, RBC also sees potential for the stock.