Transport giant Scania is working on a hydrogen-powered refuse truck 

Key Points
  • Hydrogen fuel cell refuse truck is being developed with waste handling company Renova.
  • Scania is among a number of companies looking to develop and launch hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

Swedish transport firm Scania is developing a hydrogen fuel cell refuse truck with waste handling company Renova.

In an announcement Monday, the business said the vehicle would have a fully electrified power-train and an electrified compactor.

"We are highly interested in gaining more experience of fuel cells in actual customer operations," Scania's Marita Nilsson said in a statement. "Fuel cells constitute a promising technology in the needed decarbonisation of transports," Nilsson added.

Scania added that it was cooperating with both the Swedish Energy Agency and Stockholm's Royal Institute of Technology on the project. It's expected that the fuel cell truck will be delivered either at the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020.

Hans Zackrisson, Renova's head of development, said Monday that electrification using fuel cells fueled by hydrogen was a "highly appealing alternative" for heavy commercial vehicles like refuse trucks.

"The trucks benefit from all the advantages of electrification while maintaining some of the best aspects of fossil-fuel operations, namely range, hours in service and payload," Zackrisson added.

The European Commission has described hydrogen as an energy carrier with "great potential for clean, efficient power in stationary, portable and transport applications."

Scania is among a number of companies looking to develop and launch hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. In September, for example, railway manufacturer Alstom launched what it described as the world's first hydrogen fuel cell train.

Its Coradia iLint uses fuel cells that turn hydrogen and oxygen into electricity. In terms of speed, the zero-emission train can travel up to 140 kilometers per hour.