While much of Volvo Trucks’ announcements to date have been around battery electric product roll-out, the Swedish truck builder has now revealed further plans of its hydrogen fuel cell product development.
The first showcase of Volvo’s fuel cell electric trucks was revealed last year, and now the company has detailed the testing which has taken place on public roads in northern Sweden above the Arctic Circle. Despite the difficult terrain, the trucks have performed well, and their performance has confirmed previous tests conducted digitally and on a confined test track near Gothenburg, says the company.
“Trucks are operating seven days a week and in all types of weather,” explained 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,” she said. “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.”
The fuel cell electric trucks are particularly suitable for long-distance transport assignments and rural areas where charging infrastructure is limited. Volvo Trucks currently offers the industry’s widest range of battery electric trucks, with six models in series production that cater to a wide variety of transport needs in and between cities.
The fuel cell electric trucks are expected to be commercially available in the second half of this decade. Before the official launch, tests with hauliers will be conducted to gather feedback and ensure the trucks are suitable for their intended use.
To speed up the development process, Volvo Group has partnered with Daimler to develop and produce fuel cell systems that are tailor-made for heavy-duty vehicles. This collaboration will ensure the fuel cell systems meet the specific requirements of heavy-duty trucks and are reliable and efficient.
“We need to act now in order to stop global warming. 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,” says Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks.