Volvo Trucks is planning to roll out customer testing of its hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks in 2025, the company announced this week.
The trucks are currently undergoing intensive testing by Volvo Trucks and have an operational range comparable to diesel trucks of up to 1,000 km.
The pilot phase will see selected customers in Northern Europe test the vehicles on public roads from 2025, using green hydrogen from renewable sources which will be provided at operators’ depots. The OEM said it will expand the test to additional trucks in more countries over the coming years.
Volvo Trucks’ hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric trucks are targeted at the long distance and heavy duty truck markets and at countries with limited battery charging possibilities.
Jessica Sandström, Volvo Trucks SVP of global product management said: “I believe the pilot tests will highlight the potential for fuel cell electric trucks. The tests will run in a demanding, harsh climate and it also give us a great opportunity for driving with heavy loads up 65 tonnes.”
The goal of the pilot tests will be to look at all different aspects of the truck’s operation including working components, handling and driver experience.
Volvo Trucks electric trucks will use two fuel cells with a capacity to generate 300 kW of power and will have a refuel time of less than 15 minutes.
Volvo Trucks said that fuel cell technology is still in an early phase of development with “some challenges” remaining - not least the large-scale supply of green hydrogen and the need to develop fuelling infrastructure. To overcome the lack of available hydrogen during the pilots, green hydrogen from renewable sources will be provided at the home depot.
“We expect the supply of green hydrogen to increase significantly during the next couple of years, since many industries will depend on it to reduce CO2. The fuel cell trucks will be important for longer and heavier transportations in a few years from now,” Sandström said.
The fuel cells will be supplied by Cellcentric – a joint venture between the Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG.
Cellcentric is planning to build one of Europe’s largest series production facilities for fuel-cells, especially developed for heavy vehicles.