In April, Daimler announced plans to enter a joint venture with Volvo to develop fuel cell trucks. In mid-June, preliminary agreements solidified as Daimler Truck set up a new subsidiary, Daimler Truck Fuel Cell, to pool fuel cell expertise.
Christian Mohrdieck, the new company’s chief executive, is well known throughout the industry. He began working on fuel cells at Daimler in 1999 and was put in charge of fuel cell activities in 2003. Mohrdieck will now be leading the subsidiary together with Andreas Gorbach.
Mohrdieck also heads the fuel cell business unit formerly known as NuCellSys. Renamed Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell in January 2019, it will be incorporated into the subsidiary. The Volvo Group’s 50 percent stake in the planned joint venture is valued at EUR 600 million. The partnership will focus on designing, manufacturing and marketing fuel cell systems for heavy-duty trucking and other applications, such as stationary power plants. However, Daimler’s heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles will not enter the market before the second half of this year.
“Our new subsidiary will be the direct launching pad for our joint venture. There, we will pool the wealth of fuel cell development expertise and experience we have garnered over several decades – and merge it with proven trucking proficiency.”
Martin Daum, Daimler Truck chairman
Together with Rolls-Royce Power Systems, Mercedes-Benz has also begun designing emergency power supplies (see H2-international, May 2020). Under its MTU brand, the British partner intends to market the Mercedes-Benz and Volvo joint venture’s fuel cell systems to server room operators using conventional diesel engines to meet electricity needs. Mercedes-Benz plans to install the same fuel cell systems in both its heavy-duty trucks and stationary power plants.
read more in H2-international August 2020