Volvo Trucks, Volvo’s dedicated trucking subsidiary, has revealed its first fuel cell electric vehicle. In leveraging hydrogen as its main source of power, Volvo Trucks confirmed that its latest zero-emission semi-truck will have a maximum range of 1000 kilometers (621 miles). While full specifications around the hydrogen storage capabilities of the truck have not yet been revealed, Volvo Trucks expects it to refuel in less than 15 minutes. Designed for operations suited towards long-distance hauling, heavy loads, and energy-demanding routes, the truck’s long range works alongside its ability to support a total weight exceeding 65 tons.
Supporting this range is a pair of fuel cells equipped in the vehicle that generate a combined 300 kW of onboard electricity. These fuel cells will be supplied by cellcentric, a joint venture between the Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG established in March 2021 dedicated to developing and manufacturing of a new fuel cell system. The joint venture is currently developing a facility that will manufacture fuel cells designed for use in heavy vehicles, though it is not yet known if this plant will assist the hydrogen-powered truck as it evolves through the decade.
Although a release date was not revealed for the truck, Volvo Trucks detailed its plans to gradually introduce it to the public before 2030. Today, the company is conducting private tests with the FCEV on a dedicated test track. Following these tests, in the coming years, it expects to begin the next phase of its pilot with a selection of its trucking customers. After testing the truck with its customers, Volvo Trucks will look to begin commercializing it later on in the decade.
Upon revealing its first FCEV, the subsidiary advised that it had been developing, and working with, FCEV technologies for years. In understanding the benefits of these technologies, Volvo Trucks experimented with them as far back as 2010 – when it leveraged a modified fuel cell to extend EV range. Here, the fuel cell modification extracted hydrogen gas from gasoline, creating electricity and extending the range in the process.
When released commercially, the fuel cell semi-truck will join a growing range of zero-emission, environmentally-friendly, trucks from Volvo Trucks – including a battery electric truck, and trucks running on renewable fuels such as biogas.