All Hyundai commercial vehicles to have hydrogen fuel cell versions by 2028
Hyundai Motor Group plans to make hydrogen fuel cell versions available for all its commercial vehicles by 2028. The group also plans to reduce the prices of its fuel cell offerings to bring them to the level of battery electric levels two years later. Hyundai currently offers one fuel cell bus and one fuel cell truck - the Xcient - in the market.
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There are 115 units of Hyundai's hydrogen fuel cell buses plying in South Korea and 45 units of fuel cell trucks in operation in Switzerland after they were rolled out in the country last year. Together with Kia Corp, Hyundai offers 20 models of commercial vehicles worldwide including trucks, buses and vans. Both companies sold a total of about 287,000 units last year.
Hyundai, in July, had announced that it plans to deploy at least 30 hydrogen fuel cell trucks in California by early 2023. The US-spec hydrogen truck provides a maximum driving range of 500 (about 800 kilometers). Though based on the Xcient trucks, hydrogen will be stored in greater quantity on these vehicles in tanks rated at 700 bar, or about 10,000 psi, of pressure.
Apart from commercial vehicles, Hyundai offers a fuel cell vehicle in the passenger vehicle market as well, the Hyundai Nexo SUV. The company will also develop fuel cell vehicles for Kia and its premium Genesis brand, most probably after 2025. However, the automaker has not revealed details about specific targets for fuel cell versions of passenger vehicle models.
Hyundai's hydrogen vision for 2040 is to roll out hydrogen-based technology and mobility solutions for transport and other industrial sectors. "This will include passenger cars, special vehicles, trains, ships and urban air mobility," said Hyundai Group Chairman Euisun Chung.
Hydrogen fuel cell are touted to be cleaner and more sustainable than the electric vehicles. However, the fuel cell vehicle industry is still in a niche category. While 4-5 million electric vehicles are produced globally in a year, only 10,000-15,000 fuel cell vehicles are produced in the same time period.
Other than Hyundai, carmakers such as Toyota, BMW and Daimler are also pursuing hydrogen fuel cell technology.
(with inputs from Reuters)