Volvo Trucks has announced the roll out of customer tests for its hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks. Taking place in 2025, the pilot phase will involve selected customers from Northern Europe, who will be able to test the vehicles on public roads from 2025, using green hydrogen from renewable sources which will be provided at operators’ depots.
Subsequently, more countries will benefit from this service over the coming years. The trucks, which only emit water vapour, are currently undergoing intensive testing by Volvo Trucks and have an operational range comparable to diesel trucks of up to 1,000 km.
“I believe that 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,” said Jessica Sandström, Volvo Trucks SVP of Global Product Management.
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. 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.
The electric trucks trialled by Volvo Trucks will be using two fuel cells with a capacity to generate 300 kW of power and will have a refuel time of less than 15 minutes. The fuel technology is still in its early development phase and it will be facing certain challenges along the way, such as the large-scale supply of green hydrogen, as well as the need for an established 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,” explained Sandström.
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.