Tevva and Volvo rev up hydrogen truck plans

Two of the leading players in Europe's fast-expanding green truck market have announced major milestones, as they each advanced plans to bring new hydrogen fuel cell trucks to market. UK-based Tevva yesterday announced it is it to officially launch in mainland Europe, as it also unveiled a new 19 tonne hydrogen electric truck at the IAA Transportation show in Hannover, Germany. The company said the new model represented its largest truck platform launch to date, with the 19 tonne truck building on its existing 7.5 tonne hydrogen-electric model.

It added that the zero-emission vehicle boasts a range of up to 500km thanks to its dual energy system, which combines lithium-ion batteries and a hydrogen fuel cell range extender. "Tevva's momentum continues," said the company's founder and CEO, Asher Bennett. "We have already rolled out two 7.5 tonne truck models in the last year and now we are unveiling our 19 tonne hydrogen-electric truck offering. "The 19 tonne truck market is a huge and exciting opportunity for Tevva in Europe.

We have created a truly differentiated product and service offering to complement the needs of our European customers. We have already received significant interest for the 19 tonne model and look forward to collaborating with our customers and industry partners to create a pan-European fleet electrification ecosystem." The company said it has already started production at its UK facility where it has begun to build European vehicles, while work is also underway to develop a second facility in mainland Europe, which would double manufacturing capacity to 6,000 trucks per year by 2024.

Across the truck and HGV market manufacturers are rushing to develop both battery electric and hydrogen models in support of government's net zero strategies. But Bennett predicted both technologies were set to play a role in decarbonising the transport sector. "We are on a mission to make sustainable trucks accessible at scale, and believe our technology will empower the transport sector and the governments of Europe to meet their net zero goals," he said. "By embracing hydrogen, we can rethink the energy mix in transport, reduce strain on our electricity grid and accelerate electric truck adoption."

It is a strategy that is echoed by industry giant Volvo Trucks, which last week announced production of three more electric models and this week confirmed it is to also start tests of its new fuel cell electric trucks. The company said the initial tests were set to be followed by real world pilots in commercial traffic from 2025, which will be undertaken with key customers. "I believe that the pilot tests will highlight the potential for fuel cell electric trucks," said Jessica Sandstrom, senior vice president for global product management at Volvo Trucks. "The tests will run in a demanding, harsh climate and it also give us a great opportunity for driving with heavy loads up 65 tonnes."

The goal of the pilot tests will be to look at all different aspects of the truck's operation, including working components, handling, and driver experience, the company said.

It added that with a range of up to 1,000 kilometres the trucks could play a key role in countries where battery charging infrastructure is limited or applications where heavy and long-distance transport is required.

Sandstrom said the company was confident that the trucks would come to market as supplies of low carbon hydrogen continue to increase. "We expect the supply of green hydrogen to increase significantly during the next couple of years, since many industries will depend on it to reduce CO2," she said. "The fuel cell trucks will be important for longer and heavier transportations in a few years from now."