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Volvo Trucks offers both battery-electric trucks and trucks that use renewable fuels like biogas to decarbonize transport. A third option that is CO2-neutral will be added to the product portfolio by Volvo Trucks in the second half this decade – fuel cell electric vehicles powered by hydrogen.
“We have been working on this technology for many years and it is great to see the first trucks running on the track.” Roger Alm, President, of Volvo Trucks, says that the combination of fuel cell electric and battery electric will allow our customers to eliminate all CO2 emissions from their trucks regardless of transport assignment.
The range of the fuel cell electric trucks is comparable to that of diesel trucks, with a maximum operating distance of 1000 km and a refueling period of less than 15 minutes. The truck can weigh up to 65 tons and has two fuel cells that can generate 300 kW of electricity.
In a few years, customer pilots will begin and commercialization will be planned for the second half of this decade.
“Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric trucks are especially well-suited for long distances as well as heavy, energy-demanding tasks.” Roger Alm says they could be an option for countries with limited battery charging options.
It generates its own electricity
Fuel cells generate their own electricity using hydrogen from onboard, instead of having to be charged from outside. Water vapor is the only byproduct that can be emitted.
Cellcentric delivers fuel cells
Cellcentric, a joint venture between Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG, will supply the fuel cells. Cellcentric will create one of Europe’s most advanced series production facilities for fuel cells, specially designed for heavy vehicles.
More green hydrogen needed
The early stages of fuel cell technology are still being developed. There are many benefits, but also challenges. One is the large-scale availability of green hydrogen. Another reason is that heavy vehicle refueling infrastructure is still not developed.
“We expect that the supply of green hydrogen will increase substantially over the next few years as many industries depend on it to lower CO2. We cannot delay decarbonizing transport. We are already late. My clear message to all transportation companies is to get on the road today, with biogas, battery-electric, and other options. The fuel cell trucks will be an important addition to longer and heavier transports in the future.” Said Roger Alm