Hyundai and H2E will supply the first trucks in 2019
Hyundai Motor Company has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Swiss hydrogen company H2 Energy (H2E). Beginning in 2019 and over a five-year period, Hyundai Motor and H2 Energy will provide 1,000 heavy-duty fuel cell electric trucks and an adequate supply chain for renewable hydrogen.
With the introduction of the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell electric vehicle, the Tucson Fuel Cell in 2013, and the release of the world’s leading FCEV, NEXO in 2018, the supply of a fleet of fuel cell electric trucks to H2 Energy marks Hyundai Motor’s first expansion of its FCEV leadership into the eco-friendly commercial vehicle sector.
“We are yet again advancing the field of fuel cell technology in the automotive industry with today’s announcement of our ambition to commercialise the fuel cell electric truck for the first time in the world” said Hyundai Motor executive vice-president In Cheol Lee. “We will continue to seek opportunities for expanding into other markets by carefully monitoring multiple factors such as fuelling infrastructure and governmental policies.”
The fuel cell electric truck is being developed according to European regulations. It features a new 190-kW hydrogen fuel cell system with two fuel cell systems connected in parallel, also a feature of NEXO.
It is expected to deliver a single-fuelling travel range of approximately 400 km, and in order to secure sufficient range, eight large hydrogen tanks are being compactly installed, utilising areas such as between the cabin and the rigid body.
The fuel cell electric truck boasts a distinctive design. It is presented in a simple and clean design which is also aerodynamically efficient, and features a spoiler and side protector.
H2 Energy is a company specialised in the production and supply of renewable hydrogen in Switzerland, with business subsidiaries in Germany, Norway and Austria. The company is experienced in the roll out of an optimised hydrogen ecosystem, which focuses on commercial viability for all stakeholders.
H2 Energy plans to make Hyundai’s fuel cell electric trucks available to its Swiss customers starting with the dedicated members of the Swiss H2 Association, which includes several refuelling-station operators, retailers and other customers focusing on eco-friendly innovative solutions for logistics and goods distribution.
“A sustainable hydrogen economy needs a designated ecosystem for hydrogen. This is why our collaboration between Hyundai Motor, H2 Energy, the Swiss H2 Association, and Key electricity producers in Switzerland is strategic and makes a lot of sense” said chairman of H2 Energy Rolf Huber.
Fuel cell electric powertrain technology has advantages over battery electric powertrain technology in its applications to larger vehicles such as trucks and buses. Fuel cell technology saves space and reduces weight as well as being more cost efficient to apply as the vehicle size increases. Therefore, the technology is deemed to have a wide array of opportunities to be utilised in the commercial vehicle field.