Quantron, a two-year-old German company providing electrified solutions for commercial vehicles in Europe, is moving into hydrogen as well.
A new partnership with Ballard Power Systems will integrate Ballard’s FCmove family of heavy-duty fuel cell power modules into Quantron’s electric drivetrain and vehicles. Fuel-cell electric truck platforms in development include a 7.5-tonne delivery truck, a 44-tonne heavy-duty truck, and a municipal waste collection truck. Initial deployment of these fuel-cell electric trucks is scheduled for the second half of 2022.
On the lighter-duty side, working with fuel cell expert AE Driven Solutions, Ballard unveiled the Q-Light FCEV, in the 3.4- to 4.2-tonne range, available with different body variants
Quantron currently offers electrified versions of trucks such as the Mercedes-Benz Econic waste disposal vehicle. Its Quantron QHB system can either cover a range of up to 240 km (without body activity) or empty up to 1,000 refuse containers in a nine-hour shift in two refuse tours, without intermediate charging. The QHB has been in use at leading German waste management companies since May 2020.
When asked if the company plans to offer vehicles in North America, a spokesman told HDT that is one of the strategic options it is currently evaluating.
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Plus (formerly Plus.ai), a global provider of self-driving truck technology, delivered the initial production batch of PlusDrive autonomous driving units to Chinese truck-maker FAW in order for FAW to integrate the units and launch China’s first driver-in autonomous trucks. FAW’s new line of autonomous trucks has received thousands of units in pre-orders from large fleets in China, according to the company.
Hyzon Motors signed a memorandum of understanding with Shanghai Hydrogen HongYun Automotive for the purchase of 500 hydrogen-powered electric trucks. HongYun provides operation, leasing and maintenance service for customers in China. Under the non-binding agreement, the initial order of 100 vehicles is expected before the end of 2021, while the other 400 vehicles will be ordered in 2022. “Hydrogen fuel cell technology has been adopted more quickly in China than in the rest of the world,” said Hyzon CEO Craig Knight.
The global fuel cell trucks market is estimated to register 142,858 unit sales by 2030, with China accounting for 64% of total global sales, according to Frost & Sullivan’s analysis, Global Fuel Cell Trucks Growth Opportunities.
In China, a second-quarter decline heavy commercial vehicle sales was driven primarily by market factors, rather than economic or policy factors, according to ACT Research. With too many trucks chasing available freight, there was little improvement in freight rates, which restrained vehicle purchase demand. Sales might have been worse, were it not for strong overall economic momentum, good performance from export markets, and an emissions mandate that went into effect July 1 that generated prebuy sales.
Volta Trucks’ first Volta Zero vehicles will be manufactured in Steyr, Austria, by Steyr Automotive, formerly MAN Truck and Bus Austria. This will allow Volta Trucks to start series production in late 2022, following customer trials that will start mid-year.
Volvo Trucks India has launched six heavy-duty trucks under the FM and FMX range in India to address the increasing demands for more productive and safer trucks in the country.