With an eye towards sustainable transport of goods and a carbon neutral Europe by 2050, Volvo and Daimler are in the preliminary stages of forming a joint venture for the development of fuel cells for heavy-duty vehicles. “Electrification of road transport is a key element in delivering the so called Green Deal, a carbon neutral Europe and ultimately a carbon neutral world. Using hydrogen as a carrier of green electricity to power electric trucks in long-haul operations is one important part of the puzzle, and a complement to battery electric vehicles and renewable fuels. Combining the Volvo Group and Daimler’s experience in this area to accelerate the rate of development is good both for our customers and for society as a whole. By forming this joint venture, we are clearly showing that we believe in hydrogen fuel cells for commercial vehicles. But for this vision to become reality, other companies and institutions also need to support and contribute to this development, not least in order to establish the fuel infrastructure needed,” says Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group President and CEO. 

A hydrogen fuel cell converts the chemical energy of the fuel, in this case hydrogen, and oxygen (in the air) into electricity. The electricity powers the electrical motors that propel an electrical vehicle.There are two main ways to produce the hydrogen needed. So-called green hydrogen can be produced locally at the gas station, using electricity to convert water into hydrogen. Blue hydrogen is expected to be produced from natural gas, utilizing carbon capture technology to create a carbon neutral fuel.  Joining forces will decrease development costs for both companies and accelerate the market introduction of fuel cell systems in products used for heavy-duty transport and demanding long-haul applications. In the context of the current economic downturn cooperation has become even more necessary in order to meet the Green Deal objectives within a feasible time-frame.  To enable the 50/50 joint venture, Daimler will consolidate all its current group-wide fuel cell activities under a new Daimler Truck fuel cell unit.. The Volvo Group will acquire 50% in the joint venture with an investment of approximately €600 million.