Alt-fuel trucks roll for Hyundai

Hyundai’s XCIENT line is the world’s first mass-produced series of heavy trucks utilizing hydrogen fuel-cell technology for clean propulsion. The first seven XCIENT trucks, part of an eventual total of 50 rigs, were delivered this week to customers in Switzerland, which will use the trucks for local deliveries, emitting nothing from their ordinarily sooty exhaust systems except for water vapor. Production of the XCIENT line is expected to reach an annual level of 2,000 units next year, as Hyundai begins to ramp up its production of fuel-cell trucks for further use in Europe, plus anticipated launches in North America and China.

We grabbed a screenshot from Hyundai’s commercial-vehicle site to give you some perspective on the fact that this is indeed a big truck, a full Class 8 rig. Seven major trucking operations in Europe plan to add XCIENT rigs to their fleets by 2025. For the North American market, Hyundai has already unveiled its fuel cell HDC-6 NEPTUNE Class 8 concept, as it organizes a supply chain that will include hydrogen refueling stations, as the South Korean giant aims to sell 12,000 such trucks here by 2030. Hyundai also plans a new, dedicated platform for hydrogen-fueled trucks in the near future, with powered e-axles and estimate range of up to 1,000 kilometers, or about 620 miles, between refueling.

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