Daimler Truck and the Volvo Group have signed a preliminary non-binding agreement to establish a new joint venture to develop, produce and commercialise fuel cell systems for heavy duty vehicle applications.
Daimler will consolidate all its current fuel cell activities in the joint venture. The Volvo Group will acquire 50% in the joint venture for EUR0.6bn on a cash and debt free basis.
“Truly CO2-neutral transport can be accomplished through electric drive trains with energy coming either from batteries or by converting hydrogen on board into electricity. 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,” said Daimler Truck chairman Martin Daum.
“By forming this joint venture, we are clearly showing that we believe in hydrogen fuel cells for commercial vehicles,” said Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group President and CEO.
The two companies will be 50/50 partners in the joint venture, which will operate as an independent and autonomous entity, with both remaining 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.
The common goal is for both companies to offer heavy duty vehicles with fuel cells in series production in the second half of the decade.
Part of a bundling of activities is the allocation of the operations of Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell which has long standing experience in the development of fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems for various vehicle applications, to Daimler Truck.
The joint venture will include the operations in Nabern/Germany with production facilities in Germany and Canada.
The signed preliminary agreement is non-binding. A final agreement is expected by Q3 and closing before the end of 2020, subject to the usual regulatory approval.