A new class of the Xcient Hyundai truck, equipped with more efficient fuel cells with longer life-span, is due to arrive in Europe in the fourth quarter, said Mark Freymueller, CEO of Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility (HHM).
And it’s not the only one taking steps in that direction.
FRANKFURT — South Korea’s Hyundai Motor plans to ship a new series of fuel-cell trucks to Europe later this year, turning up the heat on rivals in a battle to test the viability of hydrogen-powered heavy goods transport.
Hydrogen lags electric batteries in the green transport stakes because it is more expensive, but proponents say for long-haul transport hydrogen-powered trucks have the advantage because they have a greater range.
HHM, a joint venture between Hyundai and Swiss hydrogen company H2 Energy, has been renting out “green” hydrogen trucks to commercial clients in Switzerland since last October in the world’s most advanced pilot in the field.
HHM plans to go into other European countries next year. “Germany and the Netherlands are the most likely,” Freymueller told Reuters, adding there was also interest for pilots from Austria, Norway, France, Italy, Spain and Denmark.
Hyundai’s latest push will put more pressure on local players, which are developing their own hydrogen plans.
These include Germany’s Daimler with Sweden’s Volvo and Italy’s Iveco, a unit of Italian-American vehicle maker CNH Industrial, which is cooperating with low-emission truckmaker Nikola .
Hydrogen has come into the spotlight in Europe, where EU environment ministers want truck CO2 emissions cut by a third by 2030 from 2019 levels, threatening potential diesel bans and higher taxes but promising up to 75% of lower road tolls for greener vehicles.
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