Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA) was named as one of the recipients awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the third SuperTruck initiative. In total, the DOE will be funding 25 projects with $199 million following the goal of putting cleaner cars and trucks on America’s roads, including long-haul trucks powered by batteries and fuel cells, and improving the nation’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.
With an award amount of almost $26 million for SuperTruck 3, DTNA aims to develop and demonstrate a Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric truck, which achieves a range target of 600 miles and fuel efficiency for regional and long haul applications while emitting zero tailpipe emissions. DTNA’s long-term partnership with the DOE in its SuperTruck initiative, with participation in both the SuperTruck 2 and SuperTruck 1 programs, complements the company’s commitment to sustainable, safe, and efficient transportation, and the ambition to exclusively offer CO2-neutral (tank to wheel) products in the United States by 2039.
Under the initial SuperTruck program in 2015, DTNA and its project partners exceeded the program goals by designing a truck that demonstrated more than 115 percent improvement in overall freight efficiency over a 2009 baseline truck and achieved more than a 50 percent engine brake thermal efficiency improvement. SuperTruck 2, which is to be revealed in 2022, is on track to achieve even more ambitious efficiency goals.
With SuperTruck 3, the 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. The initial project phases will include technology modeling, analysis, concept selection, and design. The team will evaluate several technologies and down-select promising concepts for further design and analysis prior to building the demonstration truck and conducting on-road technology assessments. Necessary enhancements identified from these assessments will be integrated onto the propulsion and vehicle systems to achieve vehicle efficiency and range targets. DTNA will then produce the final demonstration, test it on-highway, and conduct the freight system analysis. SuperTruck 3 designs are planned to be revealed by the end of 2025.