Volvo, Daimler form fuel-cell joint venture

by Today's Trucking

GOTHENBURG, Sweden — The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG have taken a major step toward sustainable transportation.

They have established a joint venture to develop, produce and commercialize fuel-cell systems for use in heavy-duty trucks, the two companies announced Monday.

The goal is to make the new company a leading global manufacturer of fuel cells. (Photo: Daimler Trucks AG)

Volvo and Daimler will own equal interests in the joint venture, Daimler Truck Fuel Cell. Volvo estimates the stake would be worth about 600 million euros (roughly US$700 million).

The goal is to make the new company a leading global manufacturer of fuel cells. It aims to start with customer tests of trucks with fuel-cells in about three years and to be in series production during the second half of this decade.

“For us at Daimler Truck AG and our intended partner, the Volvo Group, the hydrogen-based fuel-cell is a key technology for enabling CO2-neutral transportation in the future,” said Martin Daum, chairman of the board at Daimler Truck.

“We are both fully committed to the Paris Climate Agreement for decarbonizing road transport and other areas, and to building a prosperous jointly held company that will deliver large volumes of fuel-cell systems.”

Martin Daum of Daimler Truck AG (left) and t Martin Lundsted of the Volvo Group. (Photo: Daimler Trucks AG)

The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG have years of experience in technology development, industrialization and large-scale vehicle production.

The joint venture will be able to benefit from this from the start, which they said is a unique position for a startup.

“In the future, the world will be powered by a combination of battery-electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles, along with other renewable fuels to some extent,” said Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of the Volvo Group.

“The formation of our fuel-cell joint venture is an important step in shaping a world we want to live in.”

In addition to trucks, there are also other areas of application for this type of fuel-cell system, the companies said.

The joint venture will develop a system with several power stages, including a twin system with 300 kW continuous power for heavy-duty long-haul trucks.

Based on the demanding conditions in heavy-duty truck applications, the joint venture’s products are also ideally suited for other use cases such as stationary power generation, the companies said.

The deal is still subject to approval by regulators.

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