Scania, a member of the Volkswagen Group, is developing a fuel cell refuse truck together with Renova, a waste handling company in western Sweden, fuel cell manufacturer Powercell Sweden AB, and JOAB, a manufacturer of truck bodies. The truck will feature a fully electrified powertrain as well as an electrified compactor.
Refuse trucks often operate in residential areas in the early hours of the morning. With reduced emissions and noise, electric vehicles are especially attractive in these areas. Renova and other waste handling companies have previously carried out trials with electric refuse trucks but this will be the first with fuel cells.
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.—Hans Zackrisson, Head of Development at Renova
Powercell S3 stack, with outputs ranging from 30-100 kW, was developed in the EU project Autostack Core in collaboration with sub-suppliers, institutes and the end users VW and BMW.
Pending a more comprehensive network of hydrogen filling stations, the CEO of PowerCell, Per Wassén, sees refuse trucks as an ideal first step in the electrification of heavy-duty commercial vehicles.
Refuse trucks operate on fixed routes and always return to the starting point at the end of the shift, which greatly reduce their dependency on external filling stations. As the network of hydrogen filling stations is expanding across Europe, propulsion using fuel cells will become a very attractive alternative and pave the way for the unavoidable transformation of the commercial vehicle industry.—Per Wassén
To help fund the project to build an electrified truck the four companies jointly applied for and been granted a governmental subsidy from the Swedish Energy Agency within the framework, Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation, FFI. FFI is a partnership between the Swedish Government and the automotive industry for the joint funding of research, innovation and development. FFI focuses on the areas of Climate, Environment and Safety.
The Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, will also participate in the project which comprises development, construction and operation of the truck. The fuel cell refuse truck is expected to be delivered in the end of 2019/beginning of 2020.
Scania has previously announced that it is developing fuel cell technology in cooperation with the Norwegian food wholesaler Asko, which has opened its own production plant for sustainable hydrogen fuel. Scania is delivering four distribution fuel cell trucks with a range of 500 km to Asko.