Volvo Trucks takes its H2 truck on the road

Volvo Trucks has taken its fuel cell electric truck to Sweden to test it on public roads for the first time. The finished product will hit the road in the second half of the decade.

The Swedish manufacturer does not give any details about the current tests, except that the “trucks are operating seven days a week and in all types of weather”, as Helena Alsiö, VP Powertrain Product Management at Volvo Trucks, explains. “The harsh conditions on public roads in northern Sweden, with ice, wind and lots of snow, make an ideal testing environment.” And she adds that “the tests are going well”.

The Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer presented the FCEV for the first time last year. At that time, the road-ready prototypes with the distinctive hydrogen fuelling unit behind the driver’s cab were only tested on closed tracks. As seen in the photos, the stack of hydrogen tanks behind the driver’s cab in the current generation has been better integrated visually and aerodynamically with a fairing.

Volvo Truck continues to keep a low profile, only mentioning technical details already announced at the presentation, namely that the H2 truck is equipped with two fuel cells that generate up to 300 kW of electricity. At the time of the presentation, Volvo Truck also said the vehicle would have a range of up to 1,000 kilometres – information Volvo Trucks did not repeat this time.

However, it does say in its statement that the vehicles are “suitable for longer transport assignments” and could be used “when using only batteries isn’t an option: for example, in rural areas with no charging infrastructure”. So in similar situations to the tests now conducted in Sweden.

Volvo already offers six truck models with battery-electric drives. One of them, the FH Electric, also served as the basis for the fuel cell prototype. It is not yet known for how many of its battery-electric trucks Volvo will also offer a fuel cell option in the future. All that has been confirmed so far is that these vehicles should be “available in the second half of this decade”. As usual in the industry, practical and fleet tests with hauliers will take place several years before the market launch. But there are no further details on this yet either.

Volvo Trucks has partnered with Daimler Trucks to develop and produce the fuel cell system, setting up the joint venture Cellcentric. It will produce fuel cells and fuel cell systems tailored to heavy commercial vehicles in Germany. However, the two manufacturers are taking different approaches: Daimler Truck prefers liquid hydrogen, while Volvo Trucks wants to store the hydrogen as gas in pressurised tanks.


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