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Hyundai’s redesigned XCIENT fuel cell truck to see global expansion

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Image: Hyundai

Hyundai Motor Company unveiled images of the company’s freshly improved XCIENT Fuel Cell, the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen-powered heavy-duty truck.

Hyundai’s zero-emission heavy-duty vehicle will become even more appealing to corporate fleet clients worldwide with design and performance enhancements.

“Hyundai Motor is leveraging more than 20 years of experience in fuel cell technology to further its vision of an eco-friendly hydrogen society,” said Jaehoon (Jay) Chang, CEO and President of Commercial Vehicle Division at Hyundai Motor Company. “With 2021 XCIENT Fuel Cell, Hyundai will contribute to the widespread adoption of commercial vehicles powered by hydrogen.”

Hyundai will begin production of 2021 XCIENT Fuel Cell in August this year. 

Hyundai has enhanced the design and performance of the XCIENT Fuel Cell, enhancing its competitive advantage and providing a more enjoyable driving experience.

The redesigned exterior design reflects the sporty and environmentally friendly performance of the XCIENT Fuel Cell. The redesigned radiator grille, which features a linear and bold ‘V’ shape of chrome elements and multi-dimensional mesh patterns, shows the high-tech fuel cell electric truck’s unmatched presence on the road while also having a technological purpose. The blue point color encircling the grille and the sticker designs eloquently convey the usage of eco-friendly hydrogen energy by XCIENT Fuel Cell.

The 2021 XCIENT Fuel Cell is equipped with a 180-kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell system comprised of two 90-kilowatt fuel cell stacks that have been specially modified for this heavy-duty truck model. Durability of the fuel cell system and overall fuel efficiency of the vehicle have been enhanced to better meet the demands of commercial fleet clients. Additional dynamic driving capability is provided by the 350-kW e-motor with a maximum torque of 2,237 Nm.

Seven enormous hydrogen tanks give a combined storage capacity of around 31 kg of fuel, while three 72-kWh high-voltage batteries serve as a backup power supply. The 2021 XCIENT Fuel Cell is expected to have a maximum driving range of approximately 400 kilometers.

It takes between 8 to 20 minutes to refuel a full tank of hydrogen, depending on the ambient temperature. The 2021 XCIENT Fuel Cell is now available in a 6×2 rigid body form in addition to the previous model’s 4×2 design.

Hyundai intends to speed the global adoption of its heavy-duty fuel cell vehicle with the debut of the improved variant. Hyundai exported 46 XCIENT Fuel Cell vehicles to Switzerland last year. As of May 2021, the combined driving range of all active trucks exceeded 750,000 kilometers.

Over that distance, hydrogen-powered trucks are projected to have decreased carbon emissions by 585 tons as compared to diesel-powered trucks. Hyundai will export another 140 XCIENT Fuel Cell vehicles to Switzerland by the end of the year as part of its aim to roll out 1,600 heavy-duty fuel cell electric trucks in Europe by 2025. Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility, a joint venture between Hyundai Motor and H2 Energy, is pursuing more European markets for the XCIENT Fuel Cell.

“The customers are very pleased with the quality and driving comfort of the truck. There is a lot of interest for the truck outside Switzerland as well. We are very confident that we will see XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks on the road in other European countries next year,” says Mark Freymueller, CEO of Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility. 

Additionally, Hyundai intends to introduce the XCIENT Fuel Cell to the North American market this year. Hyundai is in discussions with a number of municipal governments and logistics companies in the United States about the possibility of establishing cooperative operations of hydrogen-powered trucks for a variety of purposes.

Additionally, the business intends to hold XCIENT Fuel Cell roadshows and other public events. China is another country with a considerable interest in hydrogen-powered heavy-duty trucks. Hyundai is carefully examining many potential routes to market for its fuel cell technology in China’s corporate and government sectors.

Nedim Husomanovic

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