Volvo announces plans for hydrogen ICE trucks on-road testing

Volvo announces plans for hydrogen ICE trucks on-road testing

Customer tests for Volvo hydrogen combustion engine trucks will start in 2026, with orders starting by the end of the decade.

Volvo Trucks announced that on-road testing for the hydrogen trucks it is developing will begin in 2026. The company said the commercial launch of these trucks with combustion engines that run on hydrogen is planned towards the end of this decade.

“Trucks where the traditional internal combustion engine remains but runs on hydrogen will have the same performance and reliability as our diesel trucks, but with the added benefit of potentially net zero CO2 emissions well-to-wheel,” said Jan Hjelmgren, head of product management and quality at Volvo Trucks. “They will be a valuable complement to our battery electric trucks, which have been on the market for several years.”

Volvo-Hydrogen-FCEV-Truck-testing
Volvo is testing fuel cell trucks, where electricity is generated onboard the truck from fuel cells powered by hydrogen. Now, the company is also developing trucks where an combustion engine can run on green hydrogen.

Currently, Volvo is testing the vehicles in a lab. Volvo notes that trucks with combustion engines powered by green hydrogen have the potential to deliver net zero CO2 well-to-wheel when using renewable HVO as ignition fuel and are categorized as “Zero Emission Vehicles” (ZEV) under the agreed new EU CO2 emission standards.

“It’s clear that several kinds of technology are needed to decarbonize heavy transport. As a global truck manufacturer, we need to support our customers by offering a variety of decarbonization solutions, and customers can choose their alternative based on transport assignment, available infrastructure and green energy prices,” said Hjelmgren.

Volvo trucks with hydrogen-powered combustion engines will feature High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI), a technology where a small amount of ignition fuel is injected with high pressure to enable compression ignition before hydrogen is added. According to the company, the advantages of this technology include higher energy efficiency with lower fuel consumption and increased engine power.

Volvo Group signed an agreement with Westport Fuel Systems to establish a joint venture utilizing HPDI technology. The joint venture is anticipated to become operational in the second quarter of 2024, following formal closing. 

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