Volvo is starting a joint-venture company, Powercell, with Statoil for the development of power units based on fuel cell technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions caused by idling.
Powercell holds the patent on the fuel cell technology that makes it possible to produce small and effective power units that can be mounted in trucks and other vehicles to replace the current that is normally generated through operating the engine at idle. The fuel cell is powered by hydrogen gas that is produced from the diesel onboard.
According to calculations carried out by the U.S. Department of Energy, a power unit with fuel cell technology could reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide from a single truck by 20 to 30 tons annually. In the same manner, the emission of nitrogen oxides also could be reduced significantly.