VOLVO Trucks has announced plans to build trucks with internal combustion engines that run on hydrogen, with testing set to begin in 2026.

The commercial launch will follow later this decade, the company announced.

“Trucks where the traditional internal combustion engine remains but runs on hydrogen will have the same performance and reliability as our diesel trucks, but with the added benefit of very low CO2 emissions," said Jan Hjelmgren, head of product management and quality, Volvo Trucks. "They will be a valuable complement to our battery electric trucks, which have been on the market for several years." 

Not only will hydrogen internal combustion engines produce practically no tailpipe emissions, they’ll also be capable of fuelling in times comparable to diesel.

Volvo says it is already testing the technology.

“It’s clear that several kinds of technology are needed to decarbonize heavy transport," added Jan. "As a global truck manufacturer, we need to support our customers by offering a variety of decarbonization solutions, and customers can choose their alternative based on transport assignment, available infrastructure and green energy prices." 

The engines will feature high-pressure direct injection, where a small amount of ignition fuel is injected to enable ignition before hydrogen is added. Benefits over fuel cells include higher energy efficiency with lower fuel consumption and increased engine power, Volvo says.

It has entered into a joint venture with Westport Fuel Systems to utilize HPDI technology. That JV will commence in the second quarter of this year.