Daimler and Volvo aim to slash hydrogen fuel cell costs drastically by 2027.
"The German and Swedish manufacturers of large freight-hauling trucks announced that cellcentric would begin producing hydrogen fuel cells in Europe in 2025"
In a joint announcement, Daimler Trucks and Volvo AB said that they aim to slash the cost of hydrogen fuel cells by at least five or six factors by 2027 to make zero-emission technology commercially viable for long-haul trucking.
Even if Cellcentric, the fuel-cell joint venture formed by the two companies in March, reduces costs by that much, Martin Daum, head of Daimler AG's truck unit, believes hydrogen-powered trucks will not reach cost parity with diesel models for at least 15 years.
The German and Swedish manufacturers of large freight-hauling trucks announced that Cellcentric would begin producing hydrogen fuel cells in Europe in 2025, and they urged EU policies to help build out fueling infrastructure as well as provide subsidies and tax breaks to help make hydrogen trucks affordable for customers who want zero-emission models.
Daum, "We can't save the world if we're bankrupt." "We have to cover our costs and investments, and our consumers have to cover their costs and investments as well."
"Ultimately, it's up to lawmakers to strike a balance because otherwise, our consumers won't be able to run it," he said.
Aside from the joint venture, the two businesses are still rivals. Both companies plan to begin testing fuel-cell trucks in three years and mass production in the second half of this decade.
Volvo CEO Martin Lundstedt said, "It's critical for us to put a stake in the ground now, be honest about the time schedule... and hope everyone will do their part."
The European Union has pushed for stricter emission requirements, which has fueled a surge in zero-emission electric vehicles.
However, electric vehicle batteries are large, and hydrogen fuel cells are considered a safer zero-emission option for long-haul freight. Fuel cells use hydrogen to generate energy and release only water.
By 2025, the two truck manufacturers want to construct about 300 hydrogen refueling stations for heavy-duty vehicles in Europe, and around 1,000 stations by 2030.
European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said during a video conference with the two companies that the commission will propose a new alternative fuels directive this summer.
"This will include binding requirements for rolling out hydrogen fueling infrastructure... and financial support will be available where needed," she said.
Stellantis announced this year that it would begin delivering its first medium-sized vans powered by hydrogen fuel cells in Europe by the end of 2021.