More hydrogen-powered trucks will take to the road in Europe this week thanks to funding from the German government, which will support the rollout of 27 heavy-duty Xcient Fuel Cell trucks by Hyundai to a group of seven German companies.
The seven German companies working in logistics, manufacturing, and retail will put 27 Xcient Fuel Cell trucks into their fleets in the future thanks to funding for eco-friendly commercial vehicles from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV).
While hydrogen fuel cell transport is probably not viable for mass private transport, and making it uses more electricity than simply supplying the electrons to batteries alone, many believe it has a place in long haul and heavy transport.
Hyundai – which in its release did not clarify if the fuel cells would be charged with “green” hydrogen, using 100 per cent renewables – plans to utilise the launch of these new Xcient trucks as an opportunity to further expand its business into the wider European commercial vehicle market.
The 27 new Xcient trucks follow 47 units which have already been deployed in Switzerland – the first 10 of which were delivered in mid-2020 – and have already clocked up over 4 million kilometres.
The Xcient Fuel Cell heavy-duty trucks are equipped with a 180kW hydrogen fuel cell system made up of two 90kW fuel cell stacks, delivering power to a 350kW motor with maximum torque of 2,237Nm.
The hydrogen used to power the truck is stored in seven large hydrogen tanks which offer a combined storage capacity of around 31kg of fuel, while a 72kWh set of three batteries provides an additional source of power.
All in all, a Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell truck boasts a maximum driving range of 400km per charge and refuelling a tank of hydrogen only takes between 8 to 20 minutes, depending on the ambient temperature.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.