Fuel cell system from PowerCell on board the world’s first prototype H<sub>2</sub>-electric hauler

The power on the world’s first H2-electric and entirely emissions-free articulated hauler prototype, built by Volvo Construction Equipment, is generated by a fuel cell system from PowerCell Sweden. This follows the completion of a research project also involving RISE Research Institutes of Sweden and FFI, an alliance between Swedish Innovation Agency, Swedish Energy Agency and Swedish Transport Administration.

The HX04 H2-electric articulated hauler is a concept vehicle equipped with an industrialized fuel cell system from PowerCell Sweden that is specially designed for the vehicle and application. The hauler will initially be used for tests at Volvo Construction Equipment’s facility in Braås where the company has developed full testing capacity including a H2 refueling station. The six-wheel vehicle weighs 35 tons and can be filled with 12 kg of H2 in 7.5 minutes, which is good for about four hours of operation. Since the vehicle is filled with green H2, it does not produce any emissions when in use other than clean water.

Last year, PowerCell Sweden presented a comprehensive product portfolio optimized for electrification in the off-road segment. The portfolio comprises fuel cell systems with an output from 60kW up to multiple megawatts.

“If we are to manage the transition, we will need to adopt a large number of different solutions. For heavy vehicles, H2-electric powertrains have the major advantage of enabling electrification with minimal impact on the customer’s operational processes. Driving time, driving range, payload capacity, accessibility and filling time are essentially the same as with diesel-powered vehicles,” said Richard Berkling, CEO of PowerCell Sweden AB. 

The HX04 H2-electric hauler was developed as part of a research project running between 2018 and 2022, funded by FFI which involved the participation of Volvo Construction Equipment, PowerCell Sweden AB and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.