Daimler Truck & Volvo to Launch H2 Fuel Cells Based JV Cellcentric
Two leaders of the commercial vehicle industry Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group have outlined their pioneering roadmap for the new fuel-
Two leaders of the commercial vehicle industry Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group have outlined their pioneering roadmap for the new fuel-cell joint venture cellcentric, as part of an industry-first commitment to accelerate the use of hydrogen-based fuel cells for long-haul trucks and beyond. With the ambition of becoming a leading global manufacturer of fuel-cell systems, cellcentric will build one of Europe’s largest planned series productions of fuel-cell systems, with operation planned to commence in 2025. To accelerate the rollout of hydrogen-based fuel-cells, the two cellcentric shareholders call for a harmonized EU hydrogen policy framework to support the technology in becoming a viable commercial solution. According to Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group, purely battery-electric and hydrogen-based fuel-cell trucks will complement each other depending on the individual customer use case. Battery power will be rather used for lower cargo weights and for shorter distances, while fuel-cell power will tend to be the preferred option for heavier loads and longer distances.
On 1 March 2021, Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group formed cellcentric To that end, Volvo Group acquired 50 percent of the partnership interests in the existing Daimler Truck Fuel Cell GmbH & Co. KG for approximately EUR 0.6 billion on a cash and debt-free basis. In November 2020, Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group signed a binding agreement for the joint venture. A preliminary non-binding agreement had already been signed in April of the same year.
More than 300 highly specialized experts work for cellcentric in inter-disciplinary teams at locations in Nabern, Stuttgart (Germany) and Burnaby (Canada). Around 700 individual patents have been issued so far, underlining the leading role played by the company when it comes to technological development.
These ambitions were revealed as part of an exclusive digital launch today, led by Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Truck AG, and Martin Lundstedt, CEO of Volvo Group. Designed to help meet the 2050 targets of sustainable transport and a carbon-neutral Europe as part of the European Green Deal, cellcentric will develop, produce and commercialize fuel-cell systems for both long-haul trucking and other applications. The joint venture can draw on decades of expertise and development work from both Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group.
The major truck manufacturers in Europe, also backed by Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group, are therefore calling for the setup of around 300 high-performance hydrogen refuelling stations suitable for heavy-duty vehicles by 2025 and of around 1,000 hydrogen refuelling stations no later than 2030 in Europe. This joint initiative, using hydrogen as a carrier of green electricity to power electric trucks in long-haul operations, is one important part of decarbonizing road transport.