Volvo and Statoil Start Powercell Fuel Cell Venture

June 13, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Volvo AB (Sweden) and oil and gas company Statoil ASA (Norway) are starting a joint venture to make fuel cell technology aimed at cutting emissions from idling engines. The new venture, Powercell, will use fuel cell technology to build small electricity generators that can be mounted in trucks and other vehicles.

Vehicles using the fuel cell generator would not have to run its engine on idle to generate power. The new generator could be useful in North America, where truck drivers often sleep in their vehicles and run idle to generate power for air conditioning and other systems. The fuel cell would be powered by hydrogen gas produced from diesel oil carried by the vehicle.

"In the long term, power units driven by fuel cells will also be used in boats, aircraft and other mobile units in which there is a need for a compact, environmentally sound and efficient power supply," said Goran Wirmark, spokesman for Volvo's technology unit.