Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has started testing what it says is the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell articulated hauler prototype.
The Volvo HX04 is the result of a research project running between 2018 and 2022, with funding from the Swedish government, and partners including PowerCell Sweden, a developer of fuel cell-based hydrogen-electric power systems.
Engineers at the Technology Centre in Eskilstuna, Sweden, also contributed with software development and knowledge gathered through its fuel cell test lab.
While not commercially available, valuable insights from the concept will inevitably inform future production, the company said.
Carolina Diez Ferrer, head of Advanced Engineering Programmes at Volvo CE, said: “Being inventors of the world’s first articulated hauler more than 55 years ago, we are happy and proud to again drive change with this fuel cell hauler concept.
“While an early prototype, this innovation will give valuable insights into the opportunities of hydrogen in the energy transformation alongside battery-electric solutions.
“We believe that by exploring multiple technologies and working in partnership we can create the best path forward to decarbonise the construction industry.”
The Volvo HX04 is charged with 12 kg hydrogen in less than eight minutes, enabling it to operate for approximately four hours.
Fuel cells are zero-emission and work by combining hydrogen with oxygen. The resulting chemical reaction produces electricity which powers the machine.
Image: The Volvo HX04 (credit: Volvo CE)
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