DAF’s XF Hydrogen – a prototype of a hydrogen-fuelled heavy-duty truck with an internal combustion engine – has won the 2022 Truck Innovation Award.
The prestigious award was handed over to Harry Wolters, President of DAF Trucks, during the press day of the Solutrans Commercial Vehicle and Bodybuilder Show in Lyon, France.
The Truck Innovation Award – which acknowledges the enormous technological changes and energy transition taking place within the automotive sector – has been awarded by the International Truck of the Year (IToY) jury, a group of 25 commercial vehicle editors and senior journalists, representing major trucking magazines from Europe and South Africa.
With a winning score of 92 votes, DAF’s XF Hydrogen fought off the competition from Mercedes-Benz’s GenH2 Truck, a fuel cell powered long-haul vehicle, and the fully electric Nikola Tre.
The IToY jury praised the handling characteristics, seamless acceleration and user-friendly human-machine interface (HMI) of the prototype. The HMI is similarly a feature of DAF’s New Generation range, which has also been designed for future zero-emission powertrains.
The ITOY journalists appreciated DAF’s innovative approach to alternative propulsion and energy transition, which takes advantage of the dynamic qualities of the internal combustion engine while ensuring zero CO2 emissions from the tailpipe.
In this perspective, the jury believes that innovative hydrogen combustion solutions could play an important role by harnessing established technologies and supply chains. They can be an additional component of an OEM’s future powertrain portfolios, alongside battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
Summing up the jury vote, International Truck of the Year Chairman Gianenrico Griffini commented: “A transition to CO2 neutral transport requires a wide array of viable solutions. Hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine vehicles can play a role in the future powertrain mix for medium and long-haul applications.”
According to IToY rules, a Truck Innovation Award nominee must be an advanced-technology vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of over 3.5-tonnes fitted with an alternative driveline or fuel system. Otherwise, it must feature specific high-tech solutions with regard to connectivity (whether semi or fully-autonomous driving systems), a ‘platooning’ capability, or advanced support services such as remote diagnostics.