After senior Traton executives  recently signalled that hydrogen fuel cell  power would likely not be a part of its future zero emission truck strategy, its Swedish subsidiary Scania  has announced it is  working on developing a fleet of 20 fuel cell electric trucks in collaboration with, wait for it……… global power train giant Cummins.

The initial fleet of 20 fuel cell electric trucks developed with Cummins, will run on green hydrogen as part of what  Scania is calling the  HyTrucks project.

The company says that it  has been part part of various development projects for hydrogen technologies to gain insights.

“Whilst there are batteries in every fuel cell electric truck, fully battery powered trucks remain Scania’s main strategy as they provide a higher uptime and improved costs per km or hour of operations for our customers,” the company said in its statement.

It says that the fuel cell electric trucks will be built on Scania’s battery electric vehicle platform and will  leverage Cummins’ PEM fuel cell systems and hydrogen fuelling and storage solutions.

Once Cummins has added fuel cells to the trucks, the 20 trucks will be delivered to HyTrucks in 2024, a jointly created initiative project in the Netherlands run by Air Liquide and the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

The HyTrucks project will enable Scania to learn even more about how to install fuel cell systems, the operations and what customers experience.

“We have been clear that battery electric is what we see as the main track for all applications. That said, we are open to what our customers want also with regards to other solutions, like hydrogen,” said Scania’s head of E-mobility, Fredrik Allard.

“It is also a great way to strengthen Scania’s collaboration with Cummins Inc even further. “In some operations and geographies were battery electric vehicles are not optimal, we see that fuel cell electric vehicle will be used. We keep a close dialogue with our customers on what is best both for their total operating economy and our planet,” Allard said.

To accelerate the shift towards sustainable transports Scania  says it needs all sources of renewable energy.

“Hydrogen is a good way of storing energy over long cycles, and will play an important role in decarbonisation if produced in an environmentally friendly way,” it said.

“Scania is interested to learn what role green hydrogen can play. It might not be the most efficient solution but it is free of carbon. There are some types of transport that are hard to abate in other ways in the short run,” the statement concluded.