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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Joining forces for hydrogen-powered transportation

Daimler Volvo

Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG to lead the development of sustainable CO2-neutral transportation

SHARING the Green Deal vision of sustainable transport and a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050, commercial vehicle manufacturers Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group have signed a preliminary non-binding agreement to establish a new joint venture. A final agreement is expected by the third quarter of 2020 with completion before the end of the year.

The intention is to develop, produce and commercialize fuel-cell systems for heavy-duty vehicle applications, with Daimler consolidating all of their current fuel-cell activities in the joint venture. Volvo Group will acquire 50% in the joint venture for approximately €0.6 billion on a cash and debt-free basis.

‘Transport and logistics keep the world moving, and the need for transport will continue to grow. Truly CO2-neutral transport can be accomplished through electric drivetrains with energy coming either from batteries or by converting hydrogen on board into electricity,’ said Martin Daum, chairman of the board of management of Daimler Truck AG and member of the board of management of Daimler AG.

‘For trucks to cope with heavy loads and long distances, fuel cells are one important answer and a technology where Daimler have built up significant expertise through their Mercedes-Benz fuel-cell unit over the last two decades. This joint initiative with the Volvo Group is a milestone in bringing fuel-cell powered trucks on to our roads.’

Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group president and chief executive officer, added: ‘Electrification of road transport is a key element in delivering the so-called Green Deal, a carbon-neutral Europe and, ultimately, a carbon-neutral world. Using hydrogen as a carrier of green electricity to power electric trucks in long-haul operations is one important part of the puzzle, and a complement to battery electric vehicles and renewable fuels.

‘Combining the Volvo Group and Daimler’s experience in this area to accelerate the rate of development is good both for our customers and for society as a whole. By forming this joint venture, we are clearly showing that we believe in hydrogen fuel cells for commercial vehicles. But for this vision to become reality, other companies and institutions also need to support and contribute to this development, not least in order to establish the fuel infrastructure needed.’

The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG will be 50/50 partners in the joint venture, which will operate as an independent and autonomous entity, with Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group continuing to be competitors in all other areas of business.

Joining forces will decrease development costs for both companies and accelerate the market introduction of fuel-cell systems in products used for heavy-duty transport and demanding long-haul applications. The common goal is for both companies to offer heavy-duty vehicles with fuel cells for demanding long-haul applications in large-scale series production in the second half of the decade.

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