Business logistics (specifically trucks) leave a lot to be desired when it comes to reducing emissions.
Manufacturers see this as a big point of improvement, and they are taking the right steps. In a recent announcement, Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG seek to further their fuel cell technology and speed up its production for commercial sale and use.
Most if not all commercial trucks to-date run on fossil fuels (diesel), and with the call for greener solutions for mobility becoming stronger, both Volvo and Daimler saw an opportunity to work together for Mother Earth. The primary goal of this joint venture is to be able to offer fuel cells for heavy-duty vehicles at a much faster pace. They are targeting the second half of the decade to steadily roll out their products.
“Transport and logistics keep the world moving, and the need for transport will continue to grow. Truly CO2-neutral transport can be accomplished through electric drive trains with energy coming either from batteries or by converting hydrogen onboard into electricity," said Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler Truck AG. "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. This joint initiative with the Volvo Group is a milestone in bringing fuel cell-powered trucks and buses onto our roads."
“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. 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,” added Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group President and CEO.
Further on in their partnership, both brands are looking at using their developed fuel cells for use in other automotive and even non-automotive applications. Light production vehicles, power generators may benefit greatly from this partnership, but that of course remains to be seen. Whether they will capitalize on either green (electricity converts water into hydrogen) or blue (utilizing carbon capture to create a carbon-neutral fuel) remains to be seen.
An equal split or 50/50 share will be given to both Volvo Group and Daimler Trucks, but they would like to reiterate that outside of this specific partnership, both brands will still be different entities and continue to healthily compete with each other in their industries. They simply see that joining forces will reduce development costs for both companies and speed up the introduction of their products into the market. It is also worth noting that the signed preliminary agreement is non-binding, with a final agreement to materialize by the 3rd quarter of this year and to close by year’s end.
In the name of a more sustainable future, both Volvo and Daimler have just proved that coexistence is very much possible even amidst competition. If other manufacturers follow suit and share their technologies, we could be looking at a much greener and cleaner future.