Commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania has just announced their partnership with Renova, a waste handling company in western Sweden. Together with Renova, Scania will develop a number of hydrogen fuel cell refuse trucks for use throughout the region.
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen gas to power an electric motor. By combining hydrogen and oxygen, fuel cell cars and trucks can produce pure electricity to power themselves, effectively classifying them as electric vehicles. Despite being classified as electric vehicles, however, fuel cell cars and trucks feature range and refueling processes comparable to conventional vehicles.
By converting hydrogen gas into electricity, fuel cell cars and trucks produces only water and heat as a byproduct, meaning that fuel cell vehicles create virtually no pollution as they are driven. Current fuel cell vehicles are capable of cutting emissions by over 30 percent when compared directly to their gasoline-powered alternatives.
Since refuse trucks typically operate in residential areas in the early hours of the morning, vehicles that produce less emissions and noise are highly favored. While Renova and other waste handling companies have tested a variety of electric vehicles in the past, the trucks being developed in conjunction with Scania will be the first to utilize hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Project Manager Marita Nilsson, Electric Powertrain Technology at Scania, stated:
“We are highly interested in gaining more experience of fuel cells in actual customer operations. Fuel cells constitute a promising technology in the needed decarbonisation of transports.”
Hans Zackrisson, Head of Development at Renova, added:
“Electrification using fuel cells fuelled by hydrogen is a highly appealing alternative for heavy commercial vehicles such as refuse trucks. The trucks benefit from all the advantages of electrification while maintaining some of the best aspects of fossil-fuel operations, namely range, hours in service and payload.”
Scania and Renova will be working with the Swedish Energy Agency and Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology in order to implement their project. The hydrogen fuel cell trucks are expected to be delivered between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020.