Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group plan to start series production of heavy-duty fuel cell commercial vehicles for demanding and heavy long-distance haulage in the second half of the decade.
Andreas Gorbach and Christian Mohrdieck have been appointed as managing directors of the new fuel cell subsidiary.
A cooperation is planned also with Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems division, which aims at using Daimler-Volvo fuel cell systems for MTU emergency power generators addressed at data centers.
With the establishment of Daimler Truck Fuel Cell, the organizational and legal framework has now been created for bringing together all of the group’s fuel cell activities, Daimler points out.
Daimler Truck AG concluded a preliminary, non-binding agreement with Volvo Group in April of this year to establish a new joint venture for the development, production and commercialization of fuel cell systems for heavy-duty commercial vehicles and other applications such as stationary use. Daimler Truck Fuel Cell GmbH & Co. KG is later to transition into this planned joint venture. Volvo Group will acquire 50 percent of the company for this purpose. All potential transactions are subject to examination and approval by the responsible competition authorities.
Daimler, only CO2-neutral trucks and buses by 2039
It’s no mystery that Daimler is targeting a massive battery-electric and fuel cell powered trucks and bus deployment. In October 2019 the group announced that by 2039 these will be the only drivetrain options for the main markets of Europe, North America and Japan. Still according to the statements released last autumn, in the same regions, battery-electric commercial vehicles will be in serial production by 2022 while hydrogen vehicles will follow at the end of 2020s. As a first step, by next year the city bus eCitaro will be offered in a version (called eCitaro REX) with fuel cell range extender (a first deal has been secured with SWEG).
Daimler Truck Fuel Cell, a future cooperation with Rolls-Royce
The cooperation planned between Daimler Truck AG and the British technology group Rolls-Royce plc in the field of stationary fuel cell systems demonstrates very specific opportunities for the commercialization of fuel cell technology through the planned joint venture with Volvo Group, Daimler highlights. Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems division plans to use the fuel cell systems from the planned joint venture between Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group for the emergency power generators of the MTU product and solution brand that it develops and sells for data centers. A comprehensive cooperation agreement is to be prepared and signed by the end of the year.
Two managing director for Daimler Truck Fuel Cell
Both Andreas Gorbach (45) and Christian Mohrdieck (60) have extensive experience with conventional and alternative drive systems, especially fuel cell systems. Gorbach has already held a senior management position with overall responsibility for all fuel cell matters at Daimler Truck AG since the beginning of May this year. This will continue in his new additional position as CEO of Daimler Truck Fuel Cell GmbH & Co. KG.
Christian Mohrdieck has been in charge of fuel cell development at the Daimler Group since 2003 and is managing director of the current fuel cell development unit Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH, which will be allocated to the newly founded subsidiary.
Martin Daum: fuel cell will be crucial in long-distance transport
Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG and Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, says: “The fuel cell is a crucial CO2-neutral solution for trucks in heavy long-distance transport. We and our future joint venture partner, Volvo Group, are convinced of this. We are determined to jointly tackle the development and series production of fuel cells and are now taking major steps with all the necessary preparations for the planned joint venture. The establishment of Daimler Truck Fuel Cell GmbH & Co. KG is a very special milestone for our company, because our new subsidiary is to be the immediate predecessor organization of the joint venture. In it, we will now bring together the great expertise and enormous wealth of experience from several decades of development work on fuel cells at Daimler – and combine it with the right know-how in connection with trucks”.
“I am very pleased that with Dr. Andreas Gorbach and Prof. Dr. Christian Mohrdieck, we have been able to gain two very experienced Daimler colleagues for the management of Daimler Truck Fuel Cell GmbH & Co. KG. The two of them are characterized both by profound expertise in the field of conventional and alternative drive systems and fuel cells, and by the right pioneering spirit to successfully build up the new entity and transfer it to the planned joint venture,” continued Daum.