Germany’s Daimler and Volvo Group announced Thursday they are teaming up to build hydrogen fuel-cells for use in long-haul trucks by 2025.
Baptised Cellcentric, their joint venture aims to become a leading global manufacturer of hydrogen fuel-cells, a technology which also provides zero tailpipe emissions.
“Hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric trucks will be key for enabling CO2-neutral transportation in the future,” Daimler chief Martin Daum said in a statement.
Hydrogen fuel-cells are seen as a promising technology for heavy-duty, long-haul trucks as the weight and recharge times of batteries make them impractical.
But a network of hydrogen refuelling stations would be needed for fuel cell technology to be practical.
The firms called on European authorities to set up around 300 high-performance hydrogen refuelling stations suitable for heavy-duty vehicles by 2025 ,and 1,000 by 2030.
A fuel-cell uses stored hydrogen and oxygen from the air to generate electricity to fuel a vehicle. The only emission is water.
To be truly green the hydrogen must be produced from renewable energy, which is usually not the case today, although other firms are working on that.
Daimler and Volvo said that “using hydrogen as a carrier of green electricity to power electric trucks in long-haul operations is one important part of decarbonizing road transport.”
Work on a prototype is underway and pre-series production will take place in Germany.
A decision on the location of a site for full series production is expected next year.