Hyundai has shipped the first 10 of its XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks from South Korea to Switzerland.
Described by its manufacturer as “the world’s first fuel cell heavy-duty truck”, the zero-emission XCIENTs will go into operation with fleet customers in September. They will be joined by 40 more units later this year, and an additional 1,550 by 2025.
The XCIENT is powered by a 190kW hydrogen fuel cell system, giving it a 400km range on a single charge.
Hyundai chose Switzerland as the starting point for its business venture for various reasons, one being a tax break on zero-emission trucks which puts the price per km on a par with that of diesel. The country is also one of the largest producers of green hydrogen, produced from hydropower.
“XCIENT Fuel Cell is a present-day reality, not a mere future drawing board project,” declared In Cheol Lee, executive vice president and head of commercial vehicle division at Hyundai Motor. “By putting this ground-breaking vehicle on the road now, Hyundai marks a significant milestone in the history of commercial vehicles and the development of a hydrogen society. Building a comprehensive hydrogen ecosystem, where critical transportation needs are met by vehicles like XCIENT Fuel Cell, will lead to a paradigm shift that removes automobile emissions from the environmental equation.”
Hyundai has also announced details of a fuel cell-powered tractor unit currently in development, which will have a range of 1,000km, and will eventually be sold in Europe and North America.