Hyundai handed over on Wednesday, October 7 the first seven XCIENT Fuel Cell vehicles to customers in Switzerland. These are the world‘s first mass-produced heavy-duty fuel cell trucks. A total of 50 of these ecological vehicles will be put into operation in Switzerland this year.
The delivery of the XCIENT Fuel Cell represents the official entry of the Hyundai Commercial Vehicles Division into the European market and is an initial step in the company’s further expansion into the commercial vehicle markets in North America and China.
“With the handover of the XCIENT Fuel Cell vehicles, a new chapter begins not only for Hyundai’s hydrogen offensive, but also for the global community’s use of hydrogen as a clean energy source.” said In Cheol Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial Vehicles at Hyundai Motor.
“Today’s handover of vehicles to customers is just the beginning, which opens up endless possibilities for pure mobility. With the successful handover of the first XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks, we are proud to announce our expansion plan outside Europe, specifically to North America and China, where we have already made great progress. ”
The production capacity of the XCIENT Fuel Cell model will reach 2,000 vehicles per year as early as 2021, thus supporting expansion not only in Europe but also in the USA and China, where the demand for clean mobility is also growing.
The increase in capacity will require an investment of $ 1.3 billion over and above the already announced investment of $ 6.4 billion in building a hydrogen ecosystem that will support the creation of a hydrogen society.
Hyundai in the USA cooperates with logistics leaders, to whom it will supply mass-produced heavy trucks. In October 2019, Hyundai unveiled a Class 8 HDC-6 NEPTUNE Concept heavy truck study at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV), which outlines Hyundai’s future plans for emission-free vehicles.
In their implementation, Hyundai enters into partnerships with various companies with which builds complete hydrogen supply chains that cover everything from hydrogen production and filling stations to service and maintenance. A 6×4 tractor will also be launched on the North American market. Hyundai expects to drive more than 12,000 fuel cell trucks on US roads by 2030.
Hyundai will initially focus on the four most important hydrogen centers in China: the Jing-Jin-Ji metropolitan region, the Yangtze River Delta region, and Guangdong and Sichuan provinces. He is currently negotiating with local partners on cooperation opportunities, for example in the form of joint ventures.
Three fuel cell truck models will be launched in China: a medium-heavy truck in 2022, a heavy truck over a period of several years and another heavy truck with a specific design for the Chinese market. The Hyundai brand aims to achieve a total sales volume of 27,000 vehicles with these models by 2030.
The key to Hyundai’s global expansion with fuel cell trucks will be the successful launch of the XCIENT Fuel Cell in Europe.
Seven customers who have taken over the first series of XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks will be transporting consumer goods in Switzerland. At the same time, they will release nothing into the air but pure water vapor. Operators will supported by a robust ecosystem with supplies of organically produced hydrogen.
Hyundai Motor Company established the joint venture Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility (HHM) in 2019, in which the Swiss company H2 Energy is also a shareholder. HHM’s partner is also Hydrospider, a joint venture of H2 Energy, Alpiq and Linde. HHM will lease customers XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks in installments based on their use, without an initial investment.
Hyundai will transfer success from Switzerland to other European markets. Hyundai is already addressing forms of network implementation and cooperation with partners in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway. As part of its expansion plan, Hyundai expects to deliver 1,600 fuel cell trucks by 2025.
XCIENT Fuel Cell vehicles have now been ordered by a number of other companies, including Coop, Migros, Traveco, Galliker Logistics, Camion Transport, F. Murpf AG and G. Leclerc Transport AG. Trucks will be used to transport all goods across Europe, from food to cars.
Hyundai supports the growing hydrogen ecosystem with a business project that includes the construction of more than 100 hydrogen filling stations in Switzerland, a sufficient number not only for commercial vehicles but also for passenger cars powered by fuel cells.
In addition, Hyundai intends to act as a facilitator and coordinator of activities between companies from different sectors in an effort to create comprehensive hydrogen supply chains that will benefit all stakeholders.
In the coming years, the carmaker will present a new generation of the XCIENT Fuel Cell model on a special platform for trucks with hydrogen fuel cells. The new model will have axles with integrated electric motors and two 200 kW fuel cell systems, whose development is already underway.
The new model line will include 4×2 and 6×2 trucks as well as 4×2 tractors. Hyundai will thus cover a significant part of the needs of the European market in the field of heavy trucks. The tractor with a total weight of 44 tons will have a range of up to 1000 kilometers per fuel tank.
These models will support efforts to replace polluting diesel-powered trucks. Hyundai is further developing fuel cell technology and building supply chains to realize a “hydrogen economy” for a better and cleaner future.
Last year, Hyundai Motor’s hydrogen mobility solution won the Truck Innovation Award, the International Truck of the Year (IToY) survey, and XCIENT FC received an award for innovation in hydrogen energy and fuel technology. articles at the 5th Shanghai Forum, which took place in September this year.