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PLANS TO BRING the world’s first fleet of fuel cell trucks into com­mer­cial op­er­a­tion has en­er­gised a re­view of Hyundai’s aim to mass pro­duce fuel cell buses by 2020, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion issued at the 2018 67th IAA Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles show, in Han­nover, Ger­many in Septem­ber.

Hyundai Mo­tor Com­pany af­firmed it has en­tered into a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) with Swiss hy­dro­gen com­pany H2 En­ergy (H2E). Be­gin­ning in 2019 and over a five-year pe­riod Hyundai Mo­tor and H2 En­ergy will pro­vide 1,000 heavy-duty fuel cell elec­tric trucks and an ad­e­quate sup­ply chain for re­new­able hy­dro­gen, the com­pany says – the lat­ter key for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle use in gen­eral, in­clud­ing buses.

The new fuel cell elec­tric trucks are ex­pected to travel a range of ap­prox­i­mately 400km in real-life driv­ing con­di­tions, it’s claimed.

The MOU sign­ing cer­e­mony took place in the IAA Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles 2018 ex­hi­bi­tion’s con­ven­tion cen­tre and was at­tended by key in­di­vid­u­als from each com­pany, in­clud­ing Hyundai Mo­tor’s ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent and head of Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle Di­vi­sion, In Cheol Lee, as well as chair­man of H2E, Rolf Hu­ber.

“We are yet again ad­vanc­ing the field of fuel cell tech­nol­ogy in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try with to­day’s an­nounce­ment of our am­bi­tion to com­mer­cialise the fuel cell elec­tric truck for the first time in the world,” said Lee. “We will con­tinue to seek op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­pand­ing into other mar­kets by care­fully mon­i­tor­ing mul­ti­ple fac­tors, such as fu­elling in­fra­struc­ture and gov­ern­men­tal poli­cies.”

To cater to grow­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the sec­tor, Hyundai plans to di­ver­sify its fuel cell elec­tric com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle line-up, it says.

“A sus­tain­able hy­dro­gen economy needs a des­ig­nated ecosys­tem for hy­dro­gen. This is why our col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Hyundai Mo­tor, H2 En­ergy, the Swiss H2 As­so­ci­a­tion, and key elec­tric­ity pro­duc­ers in Switzer­land is strate­gic and makes a lot of sense,” said Hu­ber.


Fuel cell elec­tric pow­er­train tech­nol­ogy has ad­van­tages over bat­tery elec­tric pow­er­train tech­nol­ogy in its ap­pli­ca­tions to larger ve­hi­cles, such as trucks and buses, Hyundai says. Fuel cell tech­nol­ogy saves space and re­duces weight, as well as be­ing more cost ef­fi­cient to ap­ply as the ve­hi­cle size in­creases. There­fore, the tech­nol­ogy is deemed to have an ar­ray of op­por­tu­ni­ties to be utilised in the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle field.

The global de­mand for eco-friendly com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles is ex­pected to in­crease as eco-friendly gov­ern­ment poli­cies are en­forced around the world.

Hyundai is re­view­ing plans for mass pro­duc­tion of hy­dro­gen fuel cell buses by 2020, it says.


Hyundai Mo­tor in­tro­duced fuel cell elec­tric ex­press buses dur­ing the PyeongChang Olympics in South Korea last Fe­bru­ary and is cur­rently con­duct­ing a pi­lot op­er­a­tion with fuel cell elec­tric buses in South Korea’s ma­jor cities, whilst re­view­ing plans for mass pro­duc­tion by 2020, it states.

Hyundai Mo­tor be­gan the world’s first fuel cell elec­tric ve­hi­cle lease in the United States, also sup­port­ing its wider trans­port in­dus­try, in­clud­ing FCEV taxis, and car-shar­ing ser­vices to fur­ther sup­port the spread of eco-friendly tech­nol­ogy us­age.


H2 En­ergy spe­cialises in the pro­duc­tion and sup­ply of re­new­able hy­dro­gen in Switzer­land, with busi­ness sub­sidiaries in Ger­many, Nor­way and Aus­tria, it’s stated.

H2 En­ergy plans to make Hyundai’s fuel cell elec­tric trucks avail­able to its Swiss cus­tomers start­ing with the ded­i­cated mem­bers of the Swiss H2 As­so­ci­a­tion, which in­cludes sev­eral re­fu­elling-sta­tion op­er­a­tors, re­tail­ers, and other cus­tomers fo­cus­ing on eco-friendly in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions for lo­gis­tics and goods dis­tri­bu­tion.


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