Volvo Trucks tests hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric trucks on public roads
10 May 2023
Heavy vehicles that emit only water vapour run successfully in harsh Arctic conditions ahead of becoming an important part of Volvo Trucks’ zero exhaust emission product portfolio in a few years
Volvo Trucks has for the first time tested its zero-exhaust-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks on public roads. The trucks, showcased by the company last year, use hydrogen to produce their own electricity onboard and can travel long distances, making them suitable for longer transport assignments.
Volvo said the trucks were tested not just on any public road but on roads above the Arctic Circle in the north of Sweden in an extremely cold climate “to make it extra-challenging”.
Helena Alsiö, VP, Powertrain Product Management at Volvo Trucks, explained: “Trucks are operating seven days a week and in all types of weather. The harsh conditions on public roads in northern Sweden, with ice, wind and lots of snow, make an ideal testing environment. 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.”
A statement from Volvo Trucks said fuel cell electric trucks powered by hydrogen will be “especially suitable for longer distances and when using only batteries isn’t an option: for example, in rural areas with no charging infrastructure”.
Volvo said it currently offers the industry´s broadest product line-up of battery electric trucks, with six models in series production, catering to a very wide variety of transports in and between cities.
The fuel cell electric trucks will be available in the second half of this decade. Tests with hauliers will start a few years before the commercial launch. To speed up the development, the Volvo Group has joined forces with Daimler to develop and produce fuel cell systems that are tailor-made for heavy-duty vehicles.
For hauliers who want to offer zero exhaust emission transport already, Volvo Trucks said it currently offers six different battery electric models as well as trucks that run on renewable fuels, such as biogas.
Roger Alm, president of Volvo Trucks, said: “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.”
Volvo explained that its hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks will use two fuel cells with a capacity to generate 300kW of electric power. According to the company, green hydrogen is an endless resource that is produced by using renewable energy sources, such as wind, water and sun.