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(VIDEO) Volvo Trucks test drives hydrogen fuel cell trucks on freezing public roads

A Volvo Trucks hydrogen fuel cell truck Volvo Trucks

Volvo Trucks sees hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks as an important part of its zero exhaust emission portfolio. As part of developing these trucks for use, multiple milestones need to be passed. Volvo Trucks has just recently passed one of these milestones – test driving the hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks on public roads.

In 2022, Volvo Trucks showcased its hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks for the first time. These zero exhaust emission trucks use hydrogen to produce their own electricity onboard – making them suitable for longer transport assignments.

Now, the trucks have been tested on public roads for the first time. Volvo Trucks conducted these tests above the Arctic Circle in the north of Sweden in extremely cold temperatures.

"Trucks are operating seven days a week and in all types of weather. The harsh conditions on public roads in northern Sweden, with ice, wind, and lots of snow, make an ideal testing environment," says Helena Alsiö, vice president of powertrain product management at Volvo Trucks. "I am pleased to say that the tests are going well, confirming tests we carried out beforehand, both digitally and on our confined test track close to Gothenburg."

Fuel cell electric trucks powered by hydrogen will be especially suitable for longer distances and when using only batteries isn't an option. There is little charging infrastructure in rural areas which makes operating electric vehicles in these areas a challenging task. Hydrogen fuel cell trucks do not have this issue as they can travel using hydrogen fuel.

Commercially available in the second half of the 2020s

Volvo currently offers battery electric trucks, with six models in series production, catering to a very wide variety of transports in and between cities.

The hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks will be available in the second half of this decade. Tests with haulers will start a few years before the commercial launch.

To speed up the development, Volvo Group has partnered with Daimler to develop and produce fuel cell systems that are made for heavy-duty vehicles.

Volvo's hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks will use two fuel cells with a capacity to generate 300 kW of electric power.

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