Martin Daum and Martin Lundstedt
Daimler Truck AG’s Martin Daum (left) and the Volvo Group’s Martin Lundstedt were both on hand for the virtual announcement of the fuel-cell joint venture.
Photo: Daimler/Volvo

In a bold move, Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group agreed to join forces in an effort to speed up the development, establishment and acceptance of fuel cell vehicles – at a time when much of the focus on electric trucks among legacy truck makers has been on battery-electric solutions. The intention is to develop, produce and commercialize fuel cell systems for heavy-duty vehicle applications and other uses.

“Making fuel cell technology work is no small undertaking for any one company, thus we are convinced that combining the experience of both Daimler and Volvo is the right thing to do for us, our customers, and for society as a whole,” said Martin Daum, chairman of the board of management at Daimler Truck AG, adding that the two companies will “remain natural competitors in all other aspects.”

Daimler will first consolidate all its current fuel cell activities in the joint venture, with the Volvo Group acquiring 50% in the JV. The two companies signed a preliminary non-binding agreement, which will have to be further reviewed and approved by certain agencies.

“We are not starting from scratch,” said Daum. “We’d rather build upon a reliable, available and mature foundation.”

Fuel Cell
In the center of the fuel cell is a thin plastic film, the Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM), which is coated on both sides with a thin catalyst layer and a gas permeable electrode made of graphite paper. The membrane is surrounded by two bipolar plates into which gas ducts have been milled. Through these gas ducts flows hydrogen on the one side, and oxygen on the other. Several of these individual fuel cells can be stacked one behind the other to create a fuel cell stack.
Image: Daimler/Volvo

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