Approaches for different hydrogen drives

Well-known corporations and smaller specialist truck manufacturers are currently developing prototypes for various hydrogen drive systems. The following is an overview of these approaches.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks

Mercedes-Benz Trucks received its first vehicle type approval from the German authorities in October 2021. This was awarded to the further developed prototype for the hydrogen-powered Mercedes-Benz GenH2 truck. What is more, Cellcentric – a joint venture with Volvo – plans to start producing its first electric trucks with fuel cells in 2025.

Renault, Hyundai und MAN

Renault has established a joint venture called Hyvia with the hydrogen specialist Plug Power. Hyundai has chosen to conduct its testing in Switzerland: 50 H2 trucks are being trialled there. The first 30 hydrogen trucks are due to appear on German roads in 2022. At MAN, pre-development projects are under way for an H2 drive system to complement the electric version.


The German specialist truck manufacturer Framo plans to unveil an electric, hydrogen-powered truck based on a MAN model in 2022. Previously, the SME has only been active in the market for fully electric trucks, which it produces individually or in small series. These range from 7.5-tonne trucks to HGVs with a maximum laden weight of up to 60 tonnes. The electric truck manufacturer recently received not one, but two accolades at the ABC Award – the only design and industry competition of its kind in the world. Framo was commended for a battery-powered refuse collection vehicle and a battery-powered machine handler with an operating weight of 21 tonnes.


The specialist vehicle manufacturer Paul from the German city of Passau has found what it considers to be a practicable, comprehensive solution for battery and hydrogen-powered vehicles: it offers OEM-quality retrofits for new and existing vehicles. Working for transport and logistics firms, Paul takes care of production, maintenance and servicing for H2 trucks used for deliveries, food logistics and municipal services.

pepper motion

Another German company – pepper motion in Denkendorf – makes an active contribution to reducing emissions in freight traffic with its retrofitting service. Meanwhile, the Hamburg-based firm Clean Logistics converts heavy diesel trucks into HyBat trucks with a hybrid hydrogen drive system at its new production facility on Winsen-Ost industrial estate.