A Mercedes-Benz GenH2 hydrogen truck prototype (here, spotted in Berlin) successfully completed its first high-altitude tests on public roads. The hydrogen truck protoype was able to cross the Brenner Pass, one of the main arteries of European freight traffic at the border between Austria and Italy. During the week-long test drives, the Daimler Truck engineers repeatedly crossed the Brenner Pass with the fuel-cell semi-trailer truck carrying a typical load, on the 120 km highway stretch between Bolzano and Innsbruck.
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According to Mercedes-Benz Trucks, the city of Bolzano, in Italy, served as the base for the test drives, as it hosts a hydrogen filling station operated by H2 South Tyrol. Moreover, the topography of the surrounding area is ideal for thorough performance tests of the fuel-cell system at various altitude levels. One of the highlights of the tests was driving the tractor unit up the Penser Joch Mountain to an altitude of 2,211 meters.
The findings of this first altitude test program with regards to the interaction of fuel-cell and battery in demanding topography, as well as the forward-looking operating strategy on the Brenner route, are now being incorporated into the further development towards the series vehicle. More test drives in mountainous terrain are planned for the coming year.