Volvo unveils hydrogen hauler prototype

Sweden’s Volvo Construction Equipment has begun to test the world’s first hydrogen powered articulated hauler.

Articulated haulers are large, heavy-duty dump trucks used to carry bulky loads over rough terrain and occasionally on public roads. They feature a swivel joint, so they are able to move in order to keep the cab stable.

Volvo’s HX04 articulated hauler, which is the result of a research project that started in 2018, is charged with 12 kg of hydrogen in around 7.5 minutes, which enables it to operate for around four hours.

Hydrogen charging infrastructure is still in development, but Shell has installed a hydrogen refuelling station at the Volvo CE test track in Braås, Sweden, where Volvo has manufactured articulated haulers since 1966. 

The development of the six-wheel prototype was carried out there, and the fuel-cell test lab is at the Technology Centre in Eskilstuna, Sweden.

Volvo claims that commercial roll-out of these hydrogen-powered vehicles is expected to start in 2025.

Carolina Diez Ferrer, head of advanced engineering programs at Volvo Construction Equipment, said: “Being inventors of the world’s first articulated hauler more than 55 years ago, we are happy and proud to again drive change with this fuel cell hauler concept.”

“While an early prototype, this innovation will give valuable insights into the opportunities of hydrogen in the energy transformation alongside battery-electric solutions. We believe that by exploring multiple technologies and working in partnership, we can create the best path forward to decarbonise the construction industry.”

Volvo Construction Equipment seeks to be net-zero by 2040.