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Hyundai to bring XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks to California


Today, Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Company announced it will deploy its latest hydrogen fuel cell heavy-duty electric trucks in California. Therefore, this initiative will consist of two publicly funded projects that will help improve air quality in the region.

Read more of our news content, here; Nova Scotia receives funding on Hybrid Electric and Fuel Cell Systems

In fact, the demo trucks that Hyundai will bring into the United States are based on XCIENT Fuel Cell, which is the world’s first mass-produced, heavy-duty truck powered by hydrogen.

About the XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks – Hyundai

Accordingly, and it is worth noting, XCIENT Fuel Cell debuted last year in Switzerland. Then, it proved its commercial viability through more than one million kilometers of driving in real-world conditions. Importantly, the US model provides a maximum driving range of 500 miles or about 800 kilometers.

In this way, Hyundai announced it would leverage insights gained from these public projects to develop its zero-emission commercial fleet business in the US. Besides, it will look to establish local partnerships across the value chain. Indeed, and it is worth noting, this project will be the largest commercial deployment of Class 8 hydrogen FCETs in North America.

Also, in 2020, Hyundai announced its plan to deliver 1,600 XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks to Europe by 2025. During that time, the fleet has reduced CO2 emissions by an estimated 630 tons, compared to diesel-powered vehicles.

The partners

Per the announcement, Hyundai Motor teamed with public and private partners in the US to operate 30 units of Class 8 XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks. Indeed, these units are expected to become operative in the second quarter of 2023. Accordingly, this will be the largest commercial deployment of Class 8 hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks in the US.

Worth noting, a consortium led by the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) and Hyundai Motor recently won $22 million in grants; particularly, from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC). Besides, they earned $7 million in additional grants from the Alameda County Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District; specifically, in support of this project.

Therefore, Hyundai’s NorCAL ZERO project (also Zero-Emission Regional Truck Operations with Fuel Cell Electric Trucks) will deploy 30 Class 8 XCIENT Fuel Cell units. Notably, they will have a 6×4 drive axle configuration to northern California by the second quarter of 2023.

More about the Project

In fact, Glovis America, a logistics service provider, will be the fleet operator of these trucks. Besides, Macquarie’s Specialized and Asset Finance business, part of its Commodities and Global Markets division, will finance the trucks through a lease to the operator.

The consortium also plans to establish a high-capacity hydrogen refueling station in Oakland, California. Particularly, this facility will support as many as 50 trucks with an average fill of 30 kilograms.

Similarly, Hyundai Motor received a $500,000 grant from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD); specifically, to demonstrate in Southern California two Class 8 XCIENT Fuel Cell heavy-duty trucks.

Primarily funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the project contributes to the attainment of clean air standards in the South Coast Air Basin; mainly, by reducing emissions from diesel trucks.

Finally, Hyundai Motor and its fleet partner plan to begin operating these trucks in August. Also, based on the experience gathered from the initial demonstrations, the company will accelerate its effort to launch its zero-emission commercial trucks in North America officially.

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