According to foreign media reports, Volvo and Mercedes parent company Daimler have reached an agreement on a new hydrogen fuel truck joint venture to build hydrogen fuel cell-powered transportation vehicles and buses to achieve environmentally friendly transportation. This project will see Volvo Group investing approximately US $ 650 million in funding, and Daimler will contribute to its existing fuel cell work.
The electrical energy generated by the hydrogen fuel cell can be used to power the motor of the vehicle. In this process, the only by-product is pure water, not the smoke normally produced by traditional gasoline or diesel trucks. Daimler has been researching hydrogen-powered vehicles for many years and is part of the business of Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell Co., Ltd. This will be transferred to Daimler Trucks along with the company’s other fuel cell operations. The joint venture will operate as an independent entity whose name has not been announced yet, which is different from Daimler and Volvo.
When talking about the cooperation, the two automakers said today: “The joint efforts of the two companies will reduce the development costs of the two companies and accelerate the marketing of fuel cell systems in heavy-duty and long-distance transportation products.” In the context of economic prosperity, in order to achieve the goal of environmental protection actions within a feasible time frame, cooperation becomes more necessary. ”
The goal of the European Green Agreement is to achieve sustainable transportation and carbon neutrality in Europe by 2050, which is a challenging challenge considering the traditional needs of the transportation industry for petrochemical products. Although the application of hydrogen as an alternative fuel in passenger cars has developed to a certain extent, in general, its development has been limited by the facilities of hydrogen refueling stations. For example, in the United States, Toyota and Honda provide fuel cell vehicles, but only in markets with limited infrastructure.
However, heavy vehicles such as trucks and buses represent different possibilities. First, they can accommodate larger fuel tanks, thereby ensuring that there is enough hydrogen for longer trips. Since the time required to refuel hydrogen-fueled vehicles is about the same as that of gasoline vehicles, recharging these vehicles with hydrogen gas may be much faster than charging the batteries of electric trucks or buses with comparable battery life.
These possibilities mean that Daimler and Volvo are not the only companies looking at the hydrogen fuel sector. For example, as early as March, Toyota announced that it is developing a heavy-duty fuel cell truck with a range of hundreds of miles and zero emissions. However, this is only for the Japanese market. Daimler and Volvo aim to achieve mass production of heavy fuel cell vehicles in the second half of the next decade. The two companies also leave room for the possibility of other hydrogen fueled vehicles. Assuming everything goes according to plan, the joint venture will be settled by the end of this year.