Hyundai Is Bringing More Hydrogen Vehicles for Trucking

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Hydrogen fuel cell technology receives a lot less attention than electric batteries in the discussion for replacing gas-powered transportation. However, Hyundai has been working to change that by demonstrating the potential capabilities of hydrogen trucks.
According to The Drive, Hyundai has tested the XCIENT Fuel Cell truck in Europe, and they have more plans to push hydrogen technology forward.
A white truck parked in front of a building
Hyundai has big plans for hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Hyundai’s hydrogen truck in Switzerland

To demonstrate how hydrogen-powered fleets can change the trucking landscape, Hyundai delivered 46 XCIENT trucks to Switzerland. The 4x2 and 6x2 trucks were delivered to perform delivery and logistical duties just like any traditional gas-powered truck.
In their first 11 months on the Swiss roads, Hyundai announced that the fleet of XCIENT vehicles had driven more than 600,000 miles in total. Each truck has run for roughly 13,000 miles.
This doesn’t necessarily guarantee that hydrogen trucks will be long-lasting, but it does show that they can handle a year of hard work. This is important for convincing fleet customers to consider more hydrogen vehicles for deliveries.

Greenhouse gas emissions from hydrogen power

Many manufacturers are focusing on battery-electric vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Hyundai is taking a different direction and is one of the key brands investing in hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Traditional semi-trucks are powered by diesel. Hyundai said that XCIENT trucks will produce 631 fewer tons of gas emissions than traditional trucks.
However, it’s unclear if this takes into account any emissions produced by the source of hydrogen fuel. If hydrogen is produced with fossil fuels, it won’t be as eco-friendly. This issue also applies to building materials like glass and steel for battery-electric vehicles.

The future of hydrogen trucks

With the success of the XCIENT’s initial run, Hyundai plans to deliver more trucks in the coming years. By 2025, they hope to have 1,600 XCIENT trucks in the fleet. The automaker aims to produce 500,000 hydrogen vehicles overall by the end of the decade.
Hyundai believes that trucking’s unique needs make it the perfect industry to switch to fuel cell vehicles. The lack of public charging infrastructure won’t be as big of an obstacle for hydrogen trucks since they can use facilities at logistics depots.
As for drivers who don’t operate big trucks, electric vehicles seem to be the future of alternative power. The range of electric vehicles has increased rapidly, and charging times have gone down considerably.
For the trucking industry, though, Hyundai may be changing the game and offering more green options for the future.
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