Mahle Joins Daimler/Volvo Push for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trucks

Mahle has joined in the heavy-duty commercial vehicles joint hydrogen fuel cell development drive by Daimler Truck and Volvo.

The automotive supplier, together with fuel cell specialist cellcentric, have signed a letter of intent to cooperate in the development field of the technology for use in heavy-duty commercial vehicles as well as for other applications with comparable requirements. The cooperation focuses on the development and series production of Mahle’s system component flat membrane humidifier. Among other things, the innovation improves the durability of the fuel cell to help ensure a longer service life. The flat membrane humidifier is to be used both in fuel cell systems for commercial vehicles and in stationary systems, such as emergency power generators.

The flat membrane humidifier takes on a supporting role in the fuel cell system. In order to work as effectively and efficiently as possible, fuel cells must be supplied with sufficient fresh air and humidity. To ensure the correct moisture content in the fuel cell, conventional humidifiers use small hollow membrane fibers. Mahle instead uses very thin membranes that are stacked in layers in the humidifier, thereby, improving humidification of the fuel cells. The higher the humidity in the fuel cell, the more efficiently it works and the longer its service life.

Martin Weidlich, member of the Mahle management board and responsible for the filtration and engine peripherals business unit, said: “The agreement is a vote of confidence in MAHLE’s technological expertise. The fuel cell is an important pillar of our Group strategy as part of our technology-open approach to designing climate-neutral mobility.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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