Volvo begins testing hydrogen fuel cell trucks

Trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells will be especially suitable for long-distance trips and heavy, energy-intensive work.

On Monday (June 20), Volvo Trucks announced it had begun testing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with a range of up to 1,000 km.

In addition, the Gothenburg-based company says refueling these vehicles will take less than 15 minutes. The vehicle’s fuel cells will be provided by cellcentric, a joint venture between Volvo and Daimler Truck.

Besides hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, Volvo Trucks has also developed battery-powered trucks. Like Volvo Trucks, Daimler Truck is focusing on both battery and hydrogen vehicles.

The electrification of long-haul heavy-duty trucks poses unique challenges. While, the biggest barrier of electric vehicles at the moment is still a long time to charge the batteries for electric vehicles. Therefore, electric vehicles for long-distance transport will need advanced technology to charge faster or be equipped with a large battery system.

“Hydrogen fuel cell trucks will be particularly suitable for long-distance trips and heavy duty, energy-intensive jobs,” said Roger Alm, president of Volvo Trucks.

However, the use of this type of energy also has some limitations, because the fueling infrastructure for heavy vehicles is still underdeveloped, as well as the hydrogen supply is not really large.

Described by the International Energy Agency (IEA) as a versatile energy source, hydrogen has a wide range of applications for deployment in many industries. Hydrogen energy can be produced using electrolysis, with an electric current splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen.

Volvo Trucks’ focus on zero-emission technologies will compete with companies like Tesla or its joint venture partner Daimler Truck, both of which are developing electric trucks. The company will begin a pilot program for customers over the next few years, with a view to commercialization by the end of the decade.

Thai Hoang (according to CNBC)


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