Hydrogen fuel cell trucks hit the road

By Mike Brezonick08 May 2023

Volvo Trucks believes that hydrogen fuel cell trucks will be an important part of its zero-emissions product portfolio. Now, the company said the vehicles have passed an important milestone – test drives on public roads.

Last year, Volvo Trucks showcased its fuel cell electric trucks for the first time. The zero- emissions trucks use hydrogen to produce electricity onboard, through a pair of fuel cells with a capacity to generate 300 kW of electric power.

Volvo fuel cell truck Volvo Trucks is testing its fuel cell electric trucks north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. (Photos: Volvo Trucks)
Volvo fuel cell trucks

Now, the trucks have been tested on public roads for the first time. To make it extra-challenging, the tests have been conducted above the Arctic Circle in the north of Sweden – in an extremely cold climate.

“Trucks are operating seven days a week and in all types of weather,” said Helena Alsiö, VP Powertrain Product management at Volvo Trucks. “The harsh conditions on public roads in northern Sweden, with ice, wind and lots of snow, make an ideal testing environment.

“I am pleased to say that the tests are going well, confirming tests we carried out beforehand, both digitally and on our confined test track close to Gothenburg.”

Volvo currently offers a broad lineup of battery electric trucks, with six models in series production, catering to a very wide variety of transports in and between cities. The fuel cell electric trucks will be available in the second half of this decade, the company said. Tests with haulers will start a few years before the commercial launch.

To speed up the development, Volvo Group has joined forces with Daimler to develop and produce fuel cell systems that are tailor-made for heavy-duty vehicles. Established in 2021, the cellcentric joint venture aims to be in production with fuel cell systems by 2025.

“We need to act now in order to stop global warming,” said Roger Alm, president of Volvo Trucks. “Regardless of the transport assignments or where in the world our customers are operating, waiting is not an option. In a few years, our customers will be able to completely eliminate CO2 exhaust emissions from their trucks.”

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