Big picture: In the future, hydrogen fuel cell trucks could be a great alternative to battery-powered electric semi-trucks. Their range and payload are closer to diesel-powered trucks, and refueling is much faster than charging an electric vehicle. However, hydrogen production and distribution does not always use renewable sources, meaning it is not necessarily a “green” solution.

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Volvo’s truck division just announced that he is testing cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The company claims these trucks will have an operating range of up to 1,000 km (621 miles), a refueling time of less than 15 minutes, and a total weight (including cargo) of more than 65 tons.

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If these numbers are accurate, it sounds like an attractive alternative to battery-powered electric semi-trailers for long hauls. For comparison, Tesla Semi claimed range is up to 800 km (497 mi) and will reportedly take more than 30 minutes to charge at a megawatt charging station.

Each truck will be equipped with two hydrogen fuel cells that can generate 300kW of electricity on board. CellCentric, a joint venture between Volvo Group and Daimler, will supply these elements.

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The advantage of using hydrogen as a fuel is that it emits only water vapor and does not pollute exhaust gases. However, the energy used to produce hydrogen (more precisely, to separate it from other elements) does not have to come from renewable sources. In fact, the vast majority of hydrogen production fossil fuel based Present tense.

Another problem is the limited availability of hydrogen refueling stations. There are currently fewer than 60 stations operating in the US, all of which are located in California. This number will presumably only doubling next year.