German companies snap up eco-friendly commercials as Hyundai seeks to expand business.

fuel-cell vehicles join euro fleet

Hyundai Motor Company has announced the export of its XCIENT Fuel Cell heavy-duty trucks to Europe’s biggest commercial vehicle market.

Seven German companies in logistics, manufacturing and retail will put 27 XCIENTs into fleet service with funding for eco-friendly commercials from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV).

The XCIENTs to be delivered are equipped with a 180kW hydrogen fuel-cell system with two 90kW fuel-cell stacks. The system’s durability and vehicle’s overall fuel efficiency are tailored to the demands of fleet customers. The 350kW e-motor with maximum torque of 2,237Nm enables dynamic driving performance.

The truck’s seven large hydrogen tanks offer a combined storage capacity of about 31kg of fuel, while a 72kWh-powered set of three batteries provides an extra source of power.

The maximum driving range is 400km between gassing up. Refuelling a full tank of hydrogen takes from around eight to 20 minutes depending on the ambient temperature.

Launched in 2020, the XCIENT Fuel Cell, pictured, is the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen electric heavy-duty truck. Hyundai has already deployed 47 units in Switzerland where they have accumulated more than four million kilometres as of July 2022.

“Hyundai Motor, which is recognised as the leader in hydrogen fuel-cell technology, will leverage this opportunity to expand our business into the wider European market by successfully supporting Germany’s efforts to achieve its carbon-neutral goals,” says Mark Freymueller, Hyundai’s senior vice-president.

In August 2021, BMDV rolled out its funding guidelines for commercials with alternative drive systems upon approval by the European Commission.

The funding is available for battery, fuel cell and overhead line hybrid EVs, corresponding to refuelling and charging infrastructure and related feasibility studies.

The BMDV will have a budget of €1.6 billion available until 2024 to purchase eco-friendly commercial vehicles.

The seven German companies initially applied for the funding with Hyundai’s XCIENTs and successfully received approval from the BMDV.

Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility, a joint venture between Hyundai and Swiss company H2 Energy, has also established Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility Germany GmbH to expand its entry into the hydrogen-powered commercial market there.

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