Large scale production and commercialisation of hydrogen fuel cells has been given a boost by a joint venture between two of the world’s biggest commercial vehicle manufacturers. Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group have announced they have signed a preliminary non-binding agreement to establish the new joint venture.
The intention is to develop, produce and commercialize fuel cell systems for heavy-duty vehicle applications and other use cases according to a media release that confirmed Daimler will consolidate all its current fuel cell activities in the joint venture. Volvo Group will acquire 50 per cent in the joint venture for the sum estimated to be worth $1.35 billion on a cash and debt free basis.
As energy is emitted from batteries or by converting hydrogen on board into electricity, CO2-neutral transport can be accomplished through electric drive trains said Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler Truck AG Martin Daum. “For trucks to cope with heavy loads and long distances, fuel cells are one important answer and a technology where Daimler has built up significant expertise through its Mercedes-Benz fuel cell unit over the last two decades,” he said. “This joint initiative with the Volvo Group is a milestone in bringing fuel cell powered trucks and buses onto our roads,” said Daum.
Using hydrogen as a carrier of green electricity to power electric trucks in long-haul operations is one important part of the puzzle according to Volvo Group President and CEO Martin Lundstedt. “Combining the Volvo Group and Daimler’s experience in this area to accelerate the rate of development is good both for our customers and for society as a whole,” he said.
“By forming this joint venture, we are clearly showing that we believe in hydrogen fuel cells for commercial vehicles. But for this vision to become reality, other companies and institutions also need to support and contribute to this development, not least in order to establish the fuel infrastructure needed,” said Lundstedt. The joint venture will operate as an independent and autonomous entity, with Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group continuing to be competitors in all other areas of business.
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