As part of an industry-first commitment to promote the use of hydrogen-based fuel cells for long-haul trucks and beyond, Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group formally outlined their groundbreaking vision for the upcoming fuel-cell joint venture cellcentric.

Cellcentric will develop one of Europe’s largest planned series production of fuel-cell systems, with operations set to begin in 2025, with the aim of becoming a leading global manufacturer of fuel-cell systems. The two cellcentric shareholders are calling for a harmonized EU hydrogen policy structure to help the technology become a viable commercial option and accelerate the deployment of hydrogen-based fuel cells.

Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Truck AG, and Martin Lundstedt, CEO of Volvo Group, led an exclusive digital launch today to announce these ambitions. Cellcentric will design, manufacture, and market fuel-cell systems for long-haul trucking and other applications as part of the European Green Deal’s 2050 goals for sustainable transportation and a carbon-neutral Europe. Both Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group have decades of experience and development work to contribute to the joint venture.

Depending on the individual customer use case, solely battery-electric and hydrogen-based fuel-cell trucks will complement each other, according to Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group. For lighter loads and shorter distances, battery power will be the preferred choice, while fuel-cell power will be the preferred option for heavier loads and longer distances.

As a result, the major European truck manufacturers, including Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group, are calling for the construction of about 300 high-performance hydrogen refueling stations suitable for heavy-duty vehicles by 2025 and about 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations by 2030 in Europe. One crucial aspect of decarbonizing road transport is this joint project, which uses hydrogen as a carrier of renewable energy to fuel electric trucks in long-haul operations.

A policy structure is needed to ensure demand and availability of CO2-neutral trucks, which are currently substantially more costly than traditional vehicles. Incentives for CO2-neutral technology and a taxation scheme focused on carbon and energy content, according to Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group. Another alternative is to implement a carbon trading scheme.

“Hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric trucks will be key for enabling CO2-neutral transportation in the future. In combination with pure battery-electric drives, it enables us to offer our customers the best genuinely locally CO2-neutral vehicle options, depending on the application. Battery-electric trucks alone will not make this possible. Together with our partner Volvo Group, we are therefore fully committed to our fuel-cell joint venture cellcentric and we are both pushing forward the development of the technology as well as the series production preparations. Regarding the necessary hydrogen infrastructure, it is clear that green hydrogen is the only sensible way forward in the long term.” 

Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG

“Our united ambition is to meet the targets in the Paris agreement of becoming CO2-neutral by 2050 at the latest. We are convinced that hydrogen fuel-cell technology plays an essential role in helping us reach that milestone. But we know there is so much more to achieve than just the electrification of machines and vehicles. There needs to be greater cooperation between public and private stakeholders to develop the necessary technology and infrastructure, which is why we are calling for united action from policymakers and governments around the world in helping us make hydrogen fuel-cell technology a success. Partnerships like cellcentric are vital to our commitment to decarbonizing road transport.”

Martin Lundstedt, CEO of Volvo Group
Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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