Hydrogen trucks from Hyundai prepare for Middle East duty

In the Middle East, where petroleum is the eternal king, some unusual occurrences involving motor vehicles have been happening of late. Hyundai has begun marketing its XCIENT line of cargo trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells, and has already put them to work in limited numbers from Germany and New Zealand to its home in South Korea as evaluations of the new powertrain continues. This week, Hyundai announced that three straight-frame XCIENT trucks have been delivered to Israel, which is emerging as one of the world’s most advanced societies when it comes to alternative-fuel adoption. This marks the first time the hydrogen-fueled trucks have been evaluated by a customer in the Middle East.

The first of the three trucks is a two-wheel-drive Hyundai XCIENT box truck that will be delivered to Israeli agency Colmobil, one of three firms conducting the evaluation, the others being Hyundai partners Bazan, the hydrogen producer; plus hydrogen refueling station operator Sonol. Hyundai is endeavoring to create a “hydrogen value chain” in Israel, essentially setting up an infrastructure for the trucks’ use and refueling, with Israel on record as intending to choke its greenhouse gas emissions down by 85 percent over current levels by 2050. The commercial testing will get underway in the first quarter of 2023.

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