Volvo Trucks is testing cell electric trucks that produce only water vapor and have a working range comparable to diesel trucks, up to 1,000 km.
In a few years, during the second phase of test trials, Volvo Trucks customers will test the vehicles on public roads. Trials of fuel cell electric trucks for commercial purposes will begin in 2025 with a few customers in northern Europe, expanding to other countries in the following years.
Hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks will be especially suitable for long distances and high tonnages, which require a lot of energy. They can also be a
option in countries with limited battery charging infrastructure.
The purpose of the pilot tests will be to examine all aspects of the truck’s operation, including features, handling and driving experience. The fuel cell generates its electricity from the hydrogen on board, rather than being charged by an external source. The only product released is water vapor.
Volvo’s electric trucks will use two fuel cells capable of producing 300 kW of power and will have a recharging time of less than 15 minutes. Fuel cell technology is still in its infancy. Although it has many advantages, some difficulties remain to be solved and are not small, for example the large supply of green hydrogen and the development of recharging infrastructure.
In order to compensate for the lack of hydrogen availability during the pilot tests, the filling of green hydrogen from renewable sources will be done at the initial depot. The fuel cells will be produced by cellcentric, a joint venture between Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG. Cellcentric will create one of Europe’s largest mass production sites for fuel cells, designed specifically for heavy-duty vehicles.