Daimler, Volvo launch fuel-cell truck partnership

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Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group on Monday announced the two companies have completed the formation a previously announced fuel-cell joint venture.

The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG in November 2020 signed a binding agreement for the joint venture, whereby Volvo Group acquired 50% of the partnership interests in the existing Daimler Truck Fuel Cell GmbH & Co. KG for more than $700 million and agreed to rename the company cellcentric GmbH & Co. KG.

Both companies plan, and the goal for this partnership is, to start with customer tests of trucks with fuel-cells in about three years and to commence series production during the second half of this decade. In addition, other automotive and non-automotive use cases are also part of the new joint venture’s scope, and thus help the world take a major step towards climate-neutral and sustainable transportation by 2050.

The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG own equal interests in the joint venture, but continue to be competitors in all other areas such as vehicle technology and fuel-cell integration in trucks.

Hyzon Motors Inc., in an unrelated announcement Monday, announced plans to build the largest fuel cell membrane electrode assembly (MEA) production line for commercial vehicles in the United States at its new Hyzon Innovation Center located in Bolingbrook, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. The MEA is the critical component of a fuel cell and accounts for about 70% of the cost of a fuel cell stack. Hyzon Motors is supplier of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell powered heavy vehicles.

At full capacity, the Hyzon Innovation Center expects to produce enough MEAs to cover the production needs for up to 12,000 hydrogen fuel cell powered trucks every year. The facility is expected to commence production of MEAs in the fourth quarter of 2021.