Industry News

Hyundai forges ahead on hydrogen-electric trucking

The commercial vehicle arm of Hyundai is steadily ramping up its capabilities for producing hydrogen fuel-cell trucks that the company believes will eventually supplant fossil fuel powered units.

In 2019, Hyundai Motor Company started a joint venture with Swiss company H2 Energy to create Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility (HHM).

Based in Switzerland, HHM leases XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks to commercial truck operators on a pay-per-use basis, which also includes the hydrogen supply.

The benefit for commercial fleet customers, according to HHM, is that there is no initial investment on their part.

“HHM plans to go into other European countries next year,” said Mark Freymüller, Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility CEO.

“Germany and the Netherlands are the most likely, and there is also strong interest for our vehicles from nearly every other European country,” he said – adding that Hyundai’s latest push will put more pressure on local players, which are developing their own hydrogen plans.

Under its ‘Strategy 2025’ plan Hyundai Motor Company has reportedly set an annual sales goal of 110,000 fuel cell electric vehicles worldwide by 2025.

Meanwhile, the wider Hyundai Motor Group plans to ramp up production capacity for hydrogen-powered vehicles to 500,000 units by 2030.

One of the ways Hyundai plans on achieving this is by bringing its fuel cell electric vehicle technology to the commercial vehicle market.

Hyundai has also announced plans to expand into prime movers. The company is considering North America as the first market in which the products will be tested and launched.

With a hold in two of the world’s strongest industrial markets, Hyundai aims to set an example with its hydrogen-powered trucks.

Meanwhile, Hyundai has acknowledged that Europe is gradually shifting toward clean mobility, with the European Union announcing a green recovery plan as part of its new hydrogen strategy.

The plan is to significantly increase green hydrogen production – hydrogen gained via renewable sources – in Europe.

Green hydrogen is generated using renewable electricity, such as hydropower, resulting in no carbon dioxide emissions. In this way the process known as electrolysis is used to separate the hydrogen and oxygen molecules in water.

Increased availability of hydrogen fuel, as well as refuelling stations, is anticipated to lead to a rise in zero-emissions transportation.

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