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Volvo to Launch Hydrogen-Fueled Trucks by 2029, Aiming for Eco-Friendly Roads

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Volvo Trucks has been developing trucks with combustion engines that run on hydrogen. On-road tests with trucks using hydrogen in combustion engines will begin in 2026, and the commercial launch is planned for around 2029. Trucks that run on green hydrogen provide a significant step for Volvo to achieve its net zero goal and support customers in reaching their decarbonization targets.

Trucks that run on green hydrogen instead of fossil fuels provide one way to decarbonize transport. Hydrogen trucks will be especially suitable over longer distances and in regions with limited charging infrastructure or time for recharging batteries.

Testing vehicles in Volvo Trucks’ labs is ongoing. Volvo Trucks will begin driving tests with trucks using hydrogen in combustion engines in 2026, and the trucks will be commercially available towards the end of this decade. The hydrogen-powered combustion engine trucks will complement Volvo’s offering of other alternatives, such as battery electric trucks, fuel cell electric trucks, and trucks that run on renewable fuels, like biogas and HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil).

Jan Hjelmgren, head of product management and quality at Volvo Trucks, said, “Hydrogen-fueled trucks while maintaining the existing internal combustion engine trucks, have the added benefit of having the same performance and reliability as diesel trucks while producing very low carbon dioxide emissions. He also said, “We expect it to deliver significant benefits and play an important role in decarbonizing Volvo Trucks’ battery-electric trucks, which have been on the market for several years.”

“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 various decarbonization, and customers can choose their alternative based on transport assignment, available infrastructure, and green energy prices,” he added.

Volvo 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. Under the agreed-upon new EU CO2 emission standards, they are categorized as zero-emission vehicles (ZEV).

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

Volvo Group has agreed 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.

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