Hyundai has announced that it has delivered the first seven units of its XCIENT Fuel Cell, the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell electric heavy-duty truck, to customers in Switzerland.
XCIENT is powered by a 190kW hydrogen fuel cell system with dual 95kW fuel cell stacks. Seven large tanks offer a combined storage capacity of around 32.09 kg of hydrogen. The driving range per refuel for XCIENT Fuel Cell is about 400km.
The company is expected to deliver up to 50 new hydrogen trucks solely this year. Production capacity of the XCIENT Fuel Cell will reach 2,000 units per year by 2021 to support its expansion into Europe, the U.S. and China as demand for clean mobility grows. The increase in capacity will be backed by a $1.3 billion investment.
These trucks are the first step of a major long-term plan for Hyundai, as it plans to deliver fuel cell trucks all over the world, making the Korean company the leader of this specific market, according to Cheol Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial Vehicle Division at Hyundai Motor.
“Today’s delivery is just a beginning as it opens endless possibilities for clean mobility,” he said. “With successful delivery of the first XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks, we proudly announce our plan to expand beyond Europe to North America and China where we are already making great progress.”
Hyundai is partnering with companies to build a complete hydrogen value chain covering everything from hydrogen production and charging stations to service and maintenance in the United States. The company expects that by 2030, more than 12,000 fuel cell trucks will hit the U.S. roads.
The ambitious plan also extends to China where Hyundai is working with various partners to get one million hydrogen vehicles on its roads, also by 2030. According to the company, three fuel cell electric trucks are scheduled for launch in China: a medium-duty truck in 2022, a heavy-duty truck in in a couple of years, and another heavy-duty truck strategically designed for the China market.
These first seven units have been shipped in Switzerland as Hyundai has partnered with Swiss company H2 energy and created Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility (HHM). The customers will then be leasing XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks from HHM on a pay-per-use basis that does not require an initial investment. This solution will certainly help more customers to try the new technology and eventually win them over.
Hyundai expects to supply 1,600 commercial fuel cell trucks by 2025, creating a European hydrogen ecosystem. It will also introduce a dedicated hydrogen fuel platform that will support a 4×2 and 6×2 cargo trucks and 4×2 tractors that can cover a significant portion of Europe’s major heavy-duty truck market. The 44-ton GCW tractor will have a range of up to 1,000 kilometres on a single charge.
The Korean company is clearly looking at the future and it is making sure to hit the ground running. As we reported, it is also launching a dedicated electric segment coming up in the next few years. Hyundai is clearly going through a deep transformation that will allow a seamless transition from internal combustion engines to greener options.