Hyundai raises hydrogen game with new line of fuel-cell trucks

FRANKFURT — South Korea’s Hyundai Motor designs to ship a new sequence of gas-mobile trucks to Europe later on this calendar year, turning up the heat on rivals in a fight to examination the viability of hydrogen-driven large products transport.

A new course of the Xcient Hyundai truck, outfitted with additional effective gas cells with longer existence-span, is thanks to get there in Europe in the fourth quarter, said Mark Freymueller, CEO of Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility (HHM).

Hydrogen lags electric powered batteries in the eco-friendly transportation stakes mainly because it is a lot more highly-priced, but proponents say for very long-haul transportation hydrogen-driven vans have the advantage simply because they have a increased range.

HHM, a joint undertaking involving Hyundai and Swiss hydrogen firm H2 Power, has been leasing out “inexperienced” hydrogen vans to business purchasers in Switzerland considering the fact that previous Oct in the world’s most advanced pilot in the industry.

HHM plans to go into other European nations around the world up coming yr. “Germany and the Netherlands are the most possible,” Freymueller told Reuters, including there was also desire for pilots from Austria, Norway, France, Italy, Spain and Denmark.

Hyundai’s most current press will place additional force on neighborhood players, which are establishing their individual hydrogen ideas.

These incorporate Germany’s Daimler with Sweden’s Volvo and Italy’s Iveco, a device of Italian-American automobile maker CNH Industrial, which is cooperating with lower-emission truckmaker Nikola .

Hydrogen has occur into the spotlight in Europe, where by EU setting ministers want truck CO2 emissions cut by a 3rd by 2030 from 2019 levels, threatening potential diesel bans and greater taxes but promising up to 75% of lessen highway tolls for greener cars.

Though much more expensive than battery electric autos, fuel cell electric autos, pushed by on-board hydrogen, will likely profit from Europe’s need to construct a globe-foremost field all over the hydrogen know-how.

A research by consultancy Berylls System Advisors reckons that by 2030, 25% of new truck product sales in Europe will be battery driven and 10% gasoline mobile. But the ratio could adjust if environmentally friendly hydrogen is scaled up, it claimed.

Positive suggestions

Hyundai selected Switzerland for its pilot on the foundation of benign regulation, environmentally conscious consumers and reliable hydropower, which accounts for 58% of the country’s power combine. Regional street tax is waived for no-carbon motor vehicles whilst fossil gasoline ones pay back all around 800 euros ($977) for each and every ton of CO2 they emit.

“Any one seeking to see how fuel cell technologies is effective on the street really should go to Switzerland,” explained Steffen Stumpp, head of the small business device business vehicles at Berylls.

Initial shopper opinions on Hyundai’s fork out-for every-use pilot looks favourable. Drivers at grocery chain Coop like the very similar payload to diesel vehicles and with only a several minutes of refuelling, a spokeswoman explained.

“There was no want to change my driving type,” Nadine Sigrist, a driver for retailer Migros in the Zurich location, reported “What was new for me was the substantial acceleration and the peaceful motor.”

As more Hyundai trucks get there, Swiss electrical power utility Alpiq is organizing to ramp up its electrolysis ability at Niedergoesgen the place it generates inexperienced hydrogen that is then transported on vehicles as gas to filling stations.

“We will go from 2 megawatts in the direction of double-digit, or 5-10 megawatts,” mentioned Amedee Murisier, head of hydropower era at Alpiq and board member of Hydrospider, a Swiss eco-friendly hydrogen joint venture between Alpiq, gases team Linde and H2 Vitality.

Hydrospider could arrive at breakeven as quickly as 2022, Murisier mentioned.

Battery electrics vs. gas cells

McKinsey expects hydrogen for fuel mobile electrical automobiles to realize split-even with diesel only in 2028 at the earliest, but carmakers are pushing ahead with strategies, albeit at diverse speeds.

Nikola and Iveco say they will make a fuel mobile electrical car by 2023, putting them two decades forward of Volvo and Daimler Truck, which are muscling in but will not have check vans for a few and a 50 % a long time.

Individually, Daimler group subsidiary Mercedes Benz will prepare shopper trials for its GenH2 Truck in 2023.

“Nikola’s timeline is significantly in advance of Daimler/Volvo,” explained Stumpp. “Hyundai will be neck on neck with Nikola/Iveco if they give the Xcient in other European markets.”

Daimler Truck chief govt Martin Daum stated that a hydrogen fuelling community wanted to be in location 1st just before fuel cell vans would obtain customers, which would choose many years to build, so they ended up timing their moves in line with the infrastructure.

Truckmaker Paccar’s DAF is also in the sport, but its priority is battery electric powered vehicles, in which Nikola is also energetic and plans marketplace entry in fourth quarter 2021.

Other providers have also picked out to set gasoline mobile technology next.

Traton, the truck division of Volkswagen, not long ago claimed that only the battery route experienced been decided on by its Gentleman and Scania models.

“Hydrogen trucks have a decisive drawback. Only a quarter of the authentic electricity goes into propulsion, three quarters are misplaced through conversion,” Traton CEO Matthias Gruendler and different drivetrains expert Andreas Kammel wrote in a column in newspaper Handelsblatt.

“With e-trucks, the ratio is the other way close to,” they said.

Traton has remaining the doorway ajar by boosting its financial investment in truck maker Navistar that is acquiring fuel cells in the Americas.


On the automotive offer front, corporations are hedging their bets.

Bosch, a fuel mobile proponent, has entered into a joint undertaking with China’s Qingling Motors to source gasoline mobile programs for 2022/2023.

Elringklinger and Mahle, also, are also operating on fuel cell technological know-how.

U.S. engine maker Cummins, due to start off creating a gas mobile technique factory in Herten, Germany, later on this calendar year, sees no conflict.

“Gasoline cells will enhance the BEV (battery electric motor vehicle) technique in sites where by power storage, vary, bodyweight and electrical power prerequisites are unable to be met by batteries on your own,” explained Amy Davis, president of New Electricity at Cummins.

“That’s why we are investing in the electric powered auto drivetrain components, since we consider individuals will be maturing much too, and they will be crucial to both fuel cells and batteries.”


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