Hydrogen fuel cell-electric power in coaches has come closer thanks to a preliminary non-binding agreement between manufacturers Daimler Truck and Volvo Group.
If finalised, it will lead see a joint venture established to develop and commercialise systems for long-distance applications.
The two companies say the successful commercialisation of the technology “is a key area to achieve CO2 neutral transport”. They have confirmed that the joint hydrogen initiative will capture road passenger transport by coaches in the long-distance sector as well as freight.
Thus far both Daimler and Volvo have remained quiet on the potential for zero-emission power in their coach ranges. The development of hydrogen fuel cells for long-distance applications will complement the use of battery-electric power and alternative fuels by both manufacturers.
The common goal for both companies is to offer heavy duty vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells for “demanding long-haul applications” in series production during the second half of the decade. A final agreement on the joint venture is expected by Q3, closing before the end of the year.
Says Volvo Group President and CEO Martin Lundstedt: “For this vision to become reality, other companies and institutions also need to support and contribute to the development, not least in order to establish the fuel infrastructure needed.”
The joint venture has no impact on other areas of business for either Daimler or Volvo, where they will continue to compete.