Mercedes is testing a hydrogen-powered Unimog mower

The prototype was equipped with a hydrogen combustion engine that produces approximately 290 horsepower

December 18, 2023 at 4:01 p.m

    Mercedes is testing a hydrogen-powered Unimog mower

The the electrical revolution is already underway, but a handful of companies have not given up on hydrogen. Daimler Truck is among them and they are working on the ecological Unimog.

The prototype is based on a Unimog U 430 tool carrier and it’s not your typical FCV. Instead, it has a “specially modified” engine that runs on hydrogen.

The company didn’t go into many specifics, but said the engine produces around 290 horsepower (216 kW / 294 PS) and 737 lb-ft (1000 Nm) of torque. It is fed by four high-pressure reservoirs that are located behind the cab and hold approximately 31 lb (14 kg) hydrogen. This is clearly not too much, as Daimler Truck said “engineers are trying to increase the volume in the next phase of development to be able to cover a normal working day”.

Continue by scrolling the ad

The engine is “noticeably quieter than its diesel equivalent” and “produces water which is released as steam through the exhaust system”.

More: Toyota wants to keep ICE sports cars alive with hydrogen combustion engines

The prototype also has two cutting heads and was recently tested on the disused section of the motorway between Bayreuth and Bamberg. This exposed the vehicle to cold temperatures, varying topography and refueling at a public gas station.

Despite the test, the company is focused on electrical and fuel cells for hydrogen propulsion. However, they noted that hydrogen combustion is another option for “decarbonizing” their lineup, as early results from the WaVe project have shown that “a hydrogen combustion engine can be a reasonable, complementary solution for special applications.”

The boss of Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks, Franziska Cusumano, said that after two years they are “very satisfied with the current state of development of the test car”. He added: “The tests with the employees of Autobahn GmbH in Upper Franconia are particularly valuable for us, as here we can gather important feedback from a practical application for … further development work.”