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Auto Shows Daimler and Volvo team up in truck fuel cells

16:30  21 april  2020
16:30  21 april  2020 Source:   xml.zeit.de

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Das Logo der Daimler-AG ist an der Konzernzentrale zu sehen. © Photo: Marijan Murat / dpa / archive picture / symbol picture The logo of Daimler AG can be seen at the company's headquarters.

Truck manufacturers Daimler and Volvo team up to develop fuel cell drives. Together, they want to make heavy commercial vehicles for long-distance transport ready for series production by the end of this decade, as announced on Tuesday. For this purpose, a joint venture will be founded, which will be owned by both partners in half. In a message, Daimler Truck CEO Martin Daum spoke of a "milestone in bringing fuel cell-powered trucks and buses onto our roads".

"With the founding of this joint venture, we are clearly demonstrating that we believe in hydrogen-powered fuel cells for commercial vehicles," emphasized Volvo Group boss Martin Lundstedt. For it to work, however, other companies and institutions would have to support the development, not least to build the necessary infrastructure to be able to fill up with fuel cell vehicles. According to the information,

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Daimler wants to bundle all of its previous fuel cell activities and then incorporate them into the new company. The Volvo Group will then buy half of it for around 600 million euros. However, the deal is not yet completely in the dry. The preliminary agreement signed by both partners is not binding. The final agreement is still to come and is subject to competition authorities.

Basically, a collaboration between Daimler and Volvo is not surprising. The major shareholder in both is the founder of the Chinese auto company Geely, the billionaire Li Shufu, who has already promoted several collaborations. For example, Daimler's small car brand Smart will be produced in China in cooperation with Geely.

Both sides emphasized that bundling their forces would lower development costs and accelerate the market launch of heavy long-distance trucks with fuel cells. Daimler's truck division is struggling with the headwind of the global economic downturn and is primarily focusing on greater efficiency for the coming years. Head of division Daum wants to cut costs considerably so that despite falling sales figures, there is still enough money available for important, but at the same time expensive, future projects such as the fuel cell.

The joint venture with Volvo is also expected to address other applications. Basically, Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group remained competitors, it said.

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