The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG have signed a binding agreement for a joint venture to develop, produce and commercialize fuel-cell systems for use in heavy-duty trucks – as well as other applications.
The partners aim to make the new company a competitive global manufacturer of fuel cells, helping the world transition toward climate-neutral and sustainable transportation by 2050. The Volvo Group will acquire 50% of the partnership interests in Daimler Truck Fuel Cell GmbH & Co. KG for approximately €0.6 billion on a cash and debt-free basis.
The joint venture will take advantage of the expertise and experience from several decades of development work on fuel cells at Daimler.
“In the future, the world will be powered by a combination of battery-electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles, along with other renewable fuels to some extent,” says Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of the Volvo Group. “The formation of our fuel-cell joint venture is an important step in shaping a world we want to live in.”
Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group are both successful global players thanks to a deep understanding of their customers’ businesses, enabling them to maximize customer value. The future joint venture will build on that tradition to take a similar position in fuel cells that the Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG have in commercial vehicles.
In addition to trucks, there are also other areas of application for this type of fuel-cell system. The joint venture will develop a system with several power stages, including a twin system with 300 kW continuous power for heavy-duty long-haul trucks. Based on the demanding conditions in heavy-duty truck applications, the joint venture’s products are also ideally suited for other use cases such as stationary power generation.
The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG will own equal interests in the joint venture but continue to be competitors in all other areas, such as vehicle technology and fuel-cell integration in trucks. The companies hope to begin customer tests of fuel-cell trucks in about three years and to be in series production during the second half of this decade.
Closing of the transaction is expected during the first half of 2021. The transaction is still subject to merger control review by the relevant authorities, as well as other approvals.