Imagine a truck that emits only water vapor, generates its own electricity and has a range of up to 1000 km. This is possible with fuel cells powered by hydrogen, and Volvo Trucks has begun testing vehicles using this new technology.
In order to decarbonize vehicles, Volvo Trucks already offers battery electric trucks and trucks that run on renewable fuels such as biogas. In the second half of this decade, a third CO2-neutral model will be added to its product portfolio: fuel cell electric trucks powered by hydrogen.
“We have been developing this technology for several years now, and we are pleased to see the first trucks successfully operating on the test track. The combination of an electric battery and an electric fuel cell engine will enable our customers to completely eliminate CO 2 emissions from the exhaust fumes of their vehicles. trucks, regardless of their transportation tasks,” says Roger Alm, president of Volvo Trucks.
The fuel-electric trucks will have a range comparable to that of many diesel-powered trucks – up to 1,000 kilometers – and refueling times of less than 15 minutes. The total weight could be about 65 tons or even more, and the two fuel cells are capable of generating 300 kW of electricity on board.
Pilot projects for customers will start in a few years, and commercialization is planned for the second half of this decade.
“Hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks will be especially suitable for long-distance travel and heavy, energy-intensive work. They could also be an option in countries where battery charging options are limited,” says Roger Alm .
Produces its own electricity
The fuel cell generates its own electricity from hydrogen on board instead of being charged from an external source. The only byproduct emitted is water vapor.
Fuel cells are supplied by Cellcentric
The fuel cells will be supplied by Cellcentric, a joint venture between the Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG. Cellcentric will build one of Europe’s largest facilities for the mass production of fuel cells specifically designed for heavy-duty vehicles.
More green hydrogen is needed
Fuel cell technology is still at an early stage of development, and the new technology has many advantages, but there are still some challenges ahead. One is the massive supply of green hydrogen*. Second, the refueling infrastructure for heavy-duty vehicles is still undeveloped.
“We expect the supply of green hydrogen to increase significantly over the next few years as many industries will depend on it to reduce CO 2 emissions . However, we can’t wait to decarbonize transportation, we’re already late. So, my clear message to all transportation companies is to start the journey today with batteries, biogas and other available options. In a few years, fuel cell trucks will be an important addition for longer, heavier haulage,” saysRoger Alm .
Green hydrogen is produced using renewable energy sources such as wind, water and solar