Volvo CE launches Volvo Group’s first hydrogen fuel cell test lab
As part of the company's commitment to the Science-Based Targets initiative - a necessary measure to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement - and the group's long-term ambition to be 100 percent fossil-free by 2040, this investment will offer Volvo Group unique conditions to test and develop hydrogen fuel cell technology solutions in heavy construction machines and other applications.
The dedicated lab, located at the Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) Technical Centre in Eskilstuna, Sweden, represents a big step forward in the company's commitment to hydrogen. The lab is also the first facility in Volvo Group to be testing complete fuel cell units, and will as such be a strong contributor to the company's dedication to fuel cell technology.
Fueling an emission-free world through hydrogen
Volvo CE sees hydrogen fuel cell technology as playing a key role within its overall electromobility ambitions, together with battery electric solutions, as demonstrated by the electric compact machines, and more sustainable internal combustion engine offerings - with all three streams working in alignment on the journey towards a carbon neutral society.
While battery electric solutions are ideal for urban construction and other use cases, the size of the batteries is simply too impractical for larger machines and heavy construction equipment, which is where hydrogen comes in as a promising alternative.
How it works
Simply put, fuel cells work by combining hydrogen with oxygen, with the resulting chemical reaction producing electricity. The process is completely emission-free, with the only by-product being water vapor.
In principle, a fuel cell works much like a battery, except that it generates its own electricity from the hydrogen on-board rather than being charged from an external source. This means it can deliver longer driving ranges, and therefore is more feasible for long-haul transportation and heavier equipment.
An added benefit of hydrogen fuel cell solutions is that they will also be free from the traditional machinery noise pollution. Without a combustion engine, hydrogen-powered machines will be comparable to the low noise levels of the electric compact machines.
The Fuel Cell Test Lab is a demonstration of the same dedication to hydrogen fuel cell technology, as the recent launch of, a joint venture by Volvo Group and Daimler Truck to accelerate the development, production and commercialization of fuel cell solutions within long-haul trucking and beyond. Both form a key part of the Group's overall ambition to be 100 percent fossil free by 2040.