Daimler, Volvo Trucks team up on hydrogen fuel cells for heavy trucks.

Volvo Trucks Daimler

Daimler and Volvo Trucks plan to collaborate on development and sales of fuel-cells for heavy-duty trucks, as the costs of new technology and uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic are pushing large manufacturers to pool resources.

Daimler will consolidate all its fuel cell activities in the joint venture. The Volvo Group will acquire 50% of the joint venture for about 600 million euros ($650 million).

But executives from both companies said the joint venture would be open to including other companies.

“Truly CO2-neutral transport can be accomplished through electric drive trains with energy coming either from batteries or by converting hydrogen on board into electricity,” said Martin Daum, chairman of the Daimler Truck board of management, in a statement. “This joint initiative with the Volvo Group is a milestone in bringing fuel cell powered trucks and buses onto our roads.”

Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Trucks CEO, said the coronavirus crisis “convinced us even more that this is an area that needs continued focus.”

Other companies have been pursuing fuel cells for use in large commercial trucks.Daimler and Volvo Trucks plan to collaborate on development and sales of fuel-cells for heavy-duty trucks, as the costs of new technology and uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic are pushing large manufacturers to pool resources.

Daimler will consolidate all its fuel cell activities in the joint venture. The Volvo Group will acquire 50% of the joint venture for about 600 million euros ($650 million).

But executives from both companies said the joint venture would be open to including other companies.

“Truly CO2-neutral transport can be accomplished through electric drive trains with energy coming either from batteries or by converting hydrogen on board into electricity,” said Martin Daum, chairman of the Daimler Truck board of management, in a statement. “This joint initiative with the Volvo Group is a milestone in bringing fuel cell powered trucks and buses onto our roads.”

Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Trucks CEO, said the coronavirus crisis “convinced us even more that this is an area that needs continued focus.”

combines hydrogen and oxygen inside a fuel cell stack to produce electricity.

The electricity is stored in lithium-ion batteries which, in turn, drive the rear wheels through an alternating current electric motor.

Daimler Trucks will bring together all of Daimler’s fuel cell activities in a new fuel cell unit, including those of Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH. The partnership will also look at automotive and non-automotive uses of the technology.

The new venture will include Daimler’s operations in Nabern, Germany, and plants in Germany and Canada.

While the agreement announced Tuesday is preliminary and non-binding, both companies expect to reach a final agreement before the end of September and close the transaction by the end of 2020.

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