JV between Daimler and Volvo will see heavy vehicle fuel cells

Daimler Truck and Volvo Group JV on hydrogen-electric fuel cells

Daimler Truck AG – of which Daimler Buses is a brand – has announced two separate instances of collaboration work with other large OEMs as it further shapes the post-2025 future of its drivelines across its brands, including the introduction of hydrogen fuel cells.

In a project that was first announced in April 2020, Daimler Truck and Volvo Group have completed the transaction to form their hydrogen fuel cell joint venture (JV). That has seen Volvo Group acquire 50% of the partnership interests in the existing Daimler Truck Fuel Cell business for approximately €600m.

The JV will develop, produce and commercialise hydrogen fuel cell-electric systems for use in heavy vehicles. It has been renamed Cellcentric.

Daimler Truck and Volvo JV aims to be a global leader in fuel cells

The two parties say that a key goal is to begin customer tests of hydrogen fuel cells “in about three years” – initially in HGVs – before commencing series production in the second half of the current decade.

Daimler Truck and Volvo Group’s ambition is to make the Cellcentric JV “a leading global manufacturer of fuel cells, and thus help the world to take a major step towards climate-neutral and sustainable transport by 2050.”

A preliminary non-binding agreement for the JV was signed in April 2020. A binding agreement followed seven months later. The two companies continue to compete in all other areas, including vehicle technology and hydrogen fuel cells’ integration into vehicles.

Daimler and Cummins to partner on Euro VII medium-duty engines

Separately, Daimler Truck has signed a memorandum of understanding with Cummins to establish a global strategic partnership for medium-duty engines at Euro VII. Cummins will commence delivery of those units for Daimler vehicles in the second half of the decade.

The planned partnership will see Cummins establish a plant within the Mercedes-Benz Mannheim campus. Under the agreement, all global medium-duty engine systems for Daimler Truck and Daimler Buses vehicles will be provided by Cummins.

Working with Cummins will allow Daimler Truck to “accelerate its focus on the development of alternative and emerging technologies, including zero-emission power,” and the further development of its own heavy-duty engines. The two OEMs add that other opportunities for collaboration are being evaluated.

Says Chairman of the Board of Management at Daimler Trucks Martin Daum: “With the changeover to Euro VII, we would have to invest considerable resources in the further development of our medium-duty engines. We are now freeing up those funds to focus them on the technologies that are crucial to our long-term corporate success in the transformation of our industry.”

The European Commission began work in 2020 to develop Euro VII standards.