The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG are forming a joint venture for large-scale production of hydrogen fuel cells for commercial trucks. Daimler will consolidate all its current fuel cell activities in the joint venture, and Volvo will buy half of that venture for about $650 million.

“Truly CO2-neutral transport can be accomplished through electric drivetrains with energy coming either from batteries or by converting hydrogen on board into electricity,” says Daimler Truck AG Chairman Martin Daum. “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.”

Volvo Group President and CEO Martin Lundstedt adds, “Using hydrogen as a carrier of green electricity to power electric trucks in long-haul operations is one important part of the puzzle, and a complement to battery electric vehicles and renewable fuels. 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.”

The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG will be 50/50 partners in the joint venture, which will operate as an independent and autonomous entity. Joining forces will decrease development costs for both companies and accelerate the market introduction of fuel cell systems in products used for heavy-duty transport and demanding long-haul applications.

The companies hope to offer heavy-duty vehicles with fuel cells in series production in the second half of the decade. Automotive and non-automotive use cases are also part of the new joint venture’s scope.

Daimler Trucks is bringing together all group-wide fuel cell activities in a new Daimler Truck fuel cell unit, including Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH, which has long-standing experience in the development of fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems for various vehicle applications.

The joint venture will include operations in Nabern, Germany, headquarters of Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell, with production facilities in Germany and Canada.

A final agreement is expected by Q3 and will close before year-end 2020. All potential transactions are subject to examination and approval by the responsible competition authorities.;