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Hyundai’s first fuel cell-powered trucks arrive in Switzerland — bye bye, diesel

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Hyundai‘s first batch of seven XCIENT hydrogen fuel cell-powered trucks have been presented to its customers in Switzerland today, kicking off the company’s plan to deliver 1,600 such zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles by 2025.

That’s the result of a joint venture between Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility (HHM) and Swiss firm H2 Energy. 50 of those will roll out by the end of this year.

Reuters reports that Switzerland-based commercial customers will be leasing the trucks from HHM to transport goods around the country, and will be supported by newly set up hydrogen charging station infrastructure.

The XCIENT trucks manage around 400 km (~250 miles) of driving range with a full trailer in tow, thanks to a 350-bar 32kg hydrogen tank on board. Hyundai says these vehicles can be recharged fully within 8-20 minutes.

The idea behind this project is to replace diesel-powered trucks in markets aiming to reduce the use of fossil fuels, so it’ll be worth following Hyundai and others in this space across Europe to see how they fare over the next few years.

Toyota also made the news earlier this week after announcing its plan to build a fuel-cell powered truck for North America, with a view to present a prototype within the first half of 2021.

Totoya's heavy-duty fuel cell truck is slated to show up as a prototype next year
Credit: Toyota
Totoya’s heavy-duty fuel cell truck is slated to show up as a prototype next year

Between various such ventures, Bloomberg predicts that global sales of medium and heavy-duty commercial fuel-cell vehicles will reach 10,000 units annually by 2030.

Hyundai will host a live streamed event to officially launch the XCIENT Fuel Cell truck on October 14, along with its roadmap for clean commercial mobility. You can follow the stream on the company’s YouTube channel at 10AM KST/6PM PDT/9PM EDT/3AM CEST.

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Published October 7, 2020 — 11:24 UTC