The Volvo Group, Daimler Truck AG to produce fuel cells

Commercial vehicle producers Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group, have signed a preliminary, non-binding agreement to establish a joint venture to develop, produce and commercialize fuel cell systems.

Daimler will consolidate its fuel cell activities in the joint venture, which will produce the fuel cells for heavy-duty vehicle applications and other uses. The Volvo Group will acquire 50 per cent in the joint venture for about 0.6 billion Euros on a cash and debt free basis.

“Transport and logistics keep the world moving, and the need for transport will continue to grow,” said Martin Daum, chairman of the board of management Daimler Truck AG and member of the board of management of Daimler AG. “CO2-neutral transport can be accomplished through electric drive trains with energy coming either from batteries or by converting hydrogen on board into electricity. For trucks to cope with heavy loads and long distances, fuel cells are one important answer and a technology where Daimler has built up significant expertise through its Mercedes-Benz fuel cell unit over the last two decades.”

The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG will be equal partners in the joint venture, which will operate as an independent and autonomous entity, with Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group remaining competitors in other areas, the companies said. Joining forces will decrease development costs for both companies and speed up introducing fuel cell systems for heavy-duty transport and long-haul applications.

The goal is for both companies to offer heavy-duty vehicles with fuel cells for demanding long-haul applications in series production in the second half of the decade. In addition, other automotive and non-automotive use cases are also part of the new joint venture’s scope.

The joint venture will include the operations in Nabern/Germany with production facilities in Germany and Canada.