Hyundai and H2 Energy To Bring Fuel Cell Electric Trucks Into Commercial Operation

Hyundai 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.

The supply of a fleet of fuel cell electric trucks to H2 Energy marks Hyundai Motor’s first expansion into the eco-friendly commercial vehicle sector.

The fuel cell electric truck is being developed according to European regulations. It features a new 190kW hydrogen fuel cell system with two fuel cell systems connected in parallel. It is expected to deliver a single-fuelling travel range of approximately 400km, and in order to secure sufficient range, eight large hydrogen tanks will be compactly installed, utilising areas such as between the cabin and the rigid body.

H2 Energy specialises 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.

Hyundai says that fuel cell electric powertrain technology has advantages over battery electric powertrain technology in its applications to larger vehicles such as trucks and buses. The company says fuel cell technology saves space and reduces weight as well as being more cost efficient to apply as the vehicle size increases.

Hyundai plans to diversify its fuel cell electric commercial vehicle line-up. Currently under development is the medium sized fuel cell electric truck (Payload: 4~5ton) which can be used in the public services domain such as vehicles used for cleaning.

Hyundai Motor also introduced fuel cell electric express buses during the PyeongChang Olympics in South Korea last February and is currently conducting a pilot operation with fuel cell electric buses in South Korea’s major cities, whilst reviewing plans for mass production by 2020. Domestically, FCEV taxis and car-sharing services are operating on public roads in Ulsan and Gwangju.

Source: Motor Trader October 2018
15 Oct 2018