Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group have signed a preliminary non-binding agreement to establish a new joint venture.
The intention is to develop, produce and commercialize fuel-cell systems for heavy-duty vehicle applications and other use cases. Daimler will consolidate all its current fuel-cell activities in the joint venture. The Volvo Group will acquire 50% of the joint venture for the sum of approximately €600 million 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 into electricity,” says Martin Daum, chairman of the board of management at Daimler Truck AG.
“For trucks to cope with heavy loads and long distances, fuel cells are one important answer and a technology where Daimler has built up significant expertise through its 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 and buses onto our roads,” he adds.
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 long-haul applications. In the context of the current economic downturn, cooperation has become even more necessary in order to meet the Green Deal objectives within a feasible time frame.
The common goal is for both companies to offer heavy-duty vehicles with fuel cells for long-haul applications in series production in the second half of the decade. In addition, other automotive and non-automotive use cases are also part of the new joint venture’s scope.
To enable the joint venture, Daimler Trucks is bringing together all group-wide fuel cell activities in a new Daimler Truck fuel cell unit. Part of this bundling of activities is the allocation of the operations of Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH, which specializes in the development of fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems for various vehicle applications, to Daimler Truck AG.
The joint venture will include the operations in Nabern, Germany (currently headquarters of Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH), with production facilities in Germany and Canada.
The signed preliminary agreement is non-binding. A final agreement is expected by Q3 and closing before year-end. All potential transactions are subject to examination and approval by the responsible competition authorities.