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cellcentric starts pilot production of fuel cell systems

cellcentric, the fuel cell joint venture founded in 2021 between Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group, has begun pilot production for fuel cell systems at the Esslingen-Pliensauvorstadt site, taking another significant step towards large-scale production.

cellcentric is working towards supplying fuel cells on a large scale by the end of the decade, when fuel cell powered long-haul heavy-duty trucks are predicted to become a key technology for sustainable transportation. cellcentric’s goal is to develop, produce and distribute fuel cell systems on a large scale in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg that achieve the best possible total cost of ownership (TCO) in the highly competitive transportation industry.

In addition, cellcentric intends to cover the entire fuel cell ecosystem—from the product itself to maintenance and recycling at the end of its life cycle.

In a next step, cellcentric will establish the necessary production processes at the site to prepare for the start of a large-scale production of fuel cell systems with a high degree of vertical integration.

In addition to the development and production of fuel cell systems for heavy-duty transportation, cellcentric will create a complete ecosystem around the highly complex assemblies. This will provide customers with products of unique quality while enabling seamless integration of the drive solutions into the vehicle management system.

Moreover, a comprehensive service package including all maintenance and repair services will ensure that maintenance-related downtimes and unforeseen failures or breakdowns are reduced to a minimum for users—an important criterion in the transport industry for the best possible utilization of vehicle capacity.

Ultimately, cellcentric is planning an environmentally friendly return of the fuel cell systems at the end of their life cycle. Based on the concept of the circular economy, cellcentric’s cyclical approach aims to use resources, materials and products as considerately and sparingly as possible in four steps:

  • Reuse of decommissioned fuel cell systems for other applications with a lower requirement profile;

  • Refurbishment, a reconditioning and recycling of fuel cell systems for a longer useful service life;

  • Remanufacturing - the total overhaul to refurbish and make the systems as good as new again; and

  • Recovery of raw materials and reuse in new fuel cell production through recycling.

In May 2024, cellcentric presented its smaller, more powerful and efficient NextGen fuel cell system for sustainable hydrogen-powered long-haul trucks for the first time at the ACT Expo in Las Vegas, USA. In addition, with the BZA150 fuel cell generation, the company has a close to series production and already practical pilot product that has been successfully tested by the truck manufacturers Daimler Truck and Volvo Group in demanding field tests.

Series production of the NextGen fuel cell system is scheduled to begin at the end of the decade.


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