The Volvo Group truly is critical about bringing hydrogen gas cell vans to the truck driving planet, and now it is achieving out to get large responsibility construction devices into its zero emission embrace. Its subsidiary Volvo Construction Products is all fired up about a new gasoline cell take a look at lab that will velocity up the R&D, and CTO Thomas Bitter graciously shared some views on that with CleanTechnica. Now can it do some thing about people noisy, diesel-spewing ice cream trucks?
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Prior to we launch in, let us make clear that Volvo CE is portion of the Volvo Group, which helps make nearly anything except Volvo-branded autos. The autos arrive under a unique Volvo headquartered in Sweden, which is presently owned by the Geely Motors model in China, having ordered it from Ford about 10 several years back. Volvo Team is also headquartered in Sweden, but it is different. Got all that?
Adhering to is an electronic mail interview, a bit edited for duration.
CleanTechnica: Why target on fuel cells in the building machine space, alternatively of battery packs?
Bitter: We see hydrogen gas mobile technologies as a essential enabler of sustainable options for heavier building equipment, and this expense provides us with a further critical software in our function to attain the Science-Centered Targets and our ambition to be 100% fossil no cost by 2040.
Although battery electric powered answers are best for city construction and other use situations, the dimension of the batteries are simply just too impractical for larger sized devices and weighty development equipment, which is the place hydrogen run gasoline cells will enhance battery electric powertrains in the electromobility spot.
Battery-electrical machines will mostly suit with shorter distances and lower hundreds, though gasoline mobile electric machines in good shape correctly nicely in additional demanding applications, these as extended haul, extended distances and shorter refueling stops.
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CleanTechnica: How does green hydrogen aspect in?
Bitter: Hydrogen can be manufactured in several distinct approaches and we totally consider it is critical to have a everyday living-cycle method in the entire worth chain.
This signifies that not only will the research and improvement carried out at the exam lab be dedicated to creating fossil-absolutely free building remedies, we will also appear at how the hydrogen itself has been produced, and try for so named “green” hydrogen generated from renewable electricity.
CleanTechnica: What are the strengths of eco-friendly hydrogen over hydrogen sourced from organic gasoline?
Bitter: We completely will advertise the use of eco-friendly hydrogen in purchase to decrease the carbon footprint from a lifetime-cycle standpoint. In buy to do so, renewable electrical power needs to be used in the procedure of making the hydrogen…We will also profit from the freshly started out firm cellcentric, which will speed up the improvement, manufacturing and commercialization of gas cell systems for use in extended-haul trucking and other applications these as design equipment.
Seeking forward to the very long-time period, there exists the potential, specifically in specified segments of our marketplace, for substantial mining or development sites to have their personal infrastructure utilizing wind or solar ability to create their possess environmentally friendly hydrogen.
Volvo Group Nonetheless Hearts Batteries
If all goes in accordance to prepare, that noisy development website down the block won’t be spewing diesel fumes into the glowing inexperienced foreseeable future. The new Volvo CE test lab is Volvo Group’s initially focused R&D middle for gas cell technological innovation, and it is not messing all over.
“The focused lab, located at the Volvo Construction Machines (Volvo CE) Technological Center in Eskilstuna, Sweden, signifies a huge move ahead in the company’s motivation to hydrogen. The lab is also the to start with facility in Volvo Group to be tests comprehensive fuel mobile models, and will as these kinds of be a sturdy contributor to the company’s devotion to gas mobile technologies,” Volvo defined earlier this year, when it announced ideas for the facility.
ICE and battery-electrical enthusiasts, really don’t eliminate heart, mainly because Volvo CE is positioning hydrogen gas cells as just one leg of a a few-legged stool. The enterprise will also lean intensely on EV batteries and sustainable ICE fuels to reach carbon neutral status by 2040.
What Is This cellcentric Of Which You Converse?
Just a couple several years ago, fuel cell mobility was considered a snicker riot. Now everybody is having into the act, including legacy automakers as perfectly as startups with large ambitions. Considering the fact that Bitter identify-dropped “cellcentric” in the interview, let us take a fast seem at that enterprise.
Cellcentric (not to be baffled with the biotech firm with a very similar identify) is a production mashup of Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Team, aimed at both equally cellular and stationary gas cell programs.
“As the pioneer in establishing, manufacturing and fixing hydrogen gas mobile units, our aggregates are relevant for any use scenario. They can be flexibly tailored to various use cases this sort of as a clean up powertrain in trucks and other commercial motor vehicles or as an emergency electric power offer of important amenities in details centers,” the firm describes, adding that “The ambition is to make cellcentric a top world wide maker of gas cells, and consequently help the entire world take a key stage in direction of local climate-neutral and sustainable transportation by 2050.”
What About A Gasoline Mobile Ice Cream Truck?
All of this is well and good, but we’re still waiting around for an individual to make a gasoline mobile ice cream truck. For that issue, fuel cell foods trucks would also be great. Right after all, who wishes to breathe in diesel fumes even though you are waiting for your street meals?
If we all would like seriously really hard, maybe Volvo Team will occur up with one particular. Just after all, the organization presently makes vehicles that carry chilly food stuff. How really hard can it be?
Volvo now has a hand in the zero emission refrigerated truck discipline, correct below in the US, through the battery-electrical wing of Volvo Vehicles United states. Just a couple months back, the main US grocery chain Albertsons Businesses acquired itself a mini-fleet of two Volvo VNR Electric vehicles at its distribution center in Irvine, California, which it has tricked out with electric fridge units from the organization Innovative Strength Equipment.
All right, so two electric trucks does not seem incredibly bold, but Albertsons is by now searching forward to converting its overall fleet.
“This inaugural delivery, which took area on May possibly 28, 2021 at a LEED-licensed Albertsons shop in Irvine, California, is an remarkable move toward obtaining the company’s sustainability aims,” Albertsons stated.
No kidding. “Albertsons Cos. operates 1,400 Class 8 vans nationwide, all of which are licensed less than the U.S. Environmental Safety Company (EPA) SmartWay program as assembly substantial transportation sustainability and effectiveness expectations,” Volvo added. “The Southern California fleet, which is manufactured up solely of vehicles made by Volvo Trucks, handles 335 retailers in the region, running from the Central Coast to the California-Mexico border.”
Tim Burke, Albertsons vice president of transportation, emphasized that the vehicles “will not only aid make improvements to air quality in the communities in which we run, but the silent motors will also provide a far better doing work natural environment for our drivers and grocery keep staff members.”
Good! Now what about all people little ones standing in line at the ice product truck? Must they forever breathe in diesel fumes although waiting around for their sugar correct?
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Picture: How a hydrogen gas mobile will work, courtesy of Volvo CE