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May 4, 2021 10:45 AM, EDT

Matthias Jurytko to Head Daimler Truck AG-Volvo Fuel Cell Venture

Cellcentric joint ventureDaimler Truck AG via Twitter

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Daimler Truck AG and Volvo appointed Matthias Jurytko as CEO of cellcentric, their new fuel cell development 50-50 joint venture. He is scheduled to assume the post June 1.

The appointment came as the companies recently announced plans to grow that business.

Since April 2019, Jurytko has been in charge of the Wörth, Germany, site, the largest truck assembly plant of Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

Matthias Jurytko

Jurytko

He succeeds Andreas Gorbach, who will continue as a member of cellcentric’s advisory board — and in April was named to lead Daimler Truck AG’s new Truck Technology Group.

“Jurytko, with his many years of management experience, possesses important skills for this task: extensive expertise in the truck business, coupled with experience in the management and further development of our plants,” Daimler Truck CEO Martin Daum said in a release.

Volvo Group CEO Martin Lundstedt called Jurytko “an ideal fit” as cellcentric prepares for gigawatt-scale fuel cell production facilities on the continent.

Jurytko’s appointment came on the heels of Daimler and Volvo outlining the next steps for cellcentric, which the companies intend to turn into a global manufacturer of fuel cell systems, including for applications outside of the vehicle sector.

The companies’ goal is to start customer tests of fuel cell trucks in about three years and to be in series production of fuel cell trucks during the second half of this decade.

At the same time, Daimler and Volvo remain competitors in all vehicle and product ranges, and particularly in fuel cell integration solutions for all products, they noted.

Preparations for pre-series production of fuel cells are taking place at a new site in Esslingen, near Stuttgart, Germany. In parallel, cellcentric is scaling up on-going prototype output.

As CO2-neutral trucks currently are significantly more expensive than conventional vehicles, a policy framework is needed to ensure demand and affordability, according to Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group. This should include incentives for carbon dioxide-neutral technologies and a taxation system based on carbon and energy content. An emissions trading system could be an additional option.

Meanwhile, the major truck manufacturers in Europe, also backed by Daimler Truck AG and Volvo Group, are calling for the installation of around 300 high-performance hydrogen refueling stations suitable for heavy-duty vehicles by 2025, and for around 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations no later than 2030 in Europe.

RoadSigns

The year is 2039. Zero-emission, electric heavy-duty trucks roll past you on the highway. Charging ports are now commonplace at terminals and truck stops. Diesel-powered vehicles are becoming a thing of the past. You sit and wonder: How did we get here? Here, in 2021, Daimler Trucks North America's head of eMobility speaks to RoadSigns. Hear a snippet above, and get the full program by going to RoadSigns.TTNews.com.

“Regarding the necessary hydrogen infrastructure, it is clear that green hydrogen is the only sensible way forward in the long term,” Daum said.

The two truck makers announced in April 2020 a nonbinding agreement to form the fuel cell joint venture. They then signed a binding agreement in November, and Volvo Group acquired 50% of the partnership interests in the existing Daimler Truck Fuel Cell GmbH & Co. KG for about $723 million [600 million euros]. They formally announced cellcentric this March.

More than 300 highly specialized experts work for cellcentric in interdisciplinary teams at locations in Nabern and Stuttgart Germany, and Burnaby, British Columbia. Around 700 individual patents have been issued so far, according to the companies.

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