Hyundai rolls forward with Xcient fuel cell tractor

Hyundai Motor Company has unveiled the commercialized version of its Class 8 Xcient fuel cell tractor, stressing that emission-free transportation is a “fundamental pillar for a sustainable society”.

“Our hydrogen fuel cell technology has pioneered the industry with a real-world proven track record of its efficiency and durability. We are leveraging these merits to further transform transportation with hydrogen energy for a broad range of mobility applications,” said Ken Ramirez, executive vice-president and head of global commercial vehicle and hydrogen fuel cell business at Hyundai Motor.

“We now look beyond mobility toward an integrated hydrogen ecosystem, from production of hydrogen to its storage, transport and delivery. Hyundai is uniquely positioned to cover all aspects and deliver a seamless solution across the value chain.”

Class 8 Xcient fuel cell tractor
Hyundai’s Class 8 Xcient fuel cell tractor is featured at ACT Expo. (Photo: John G. Smith)

Xcient Fuel Cells have been deployed in five countries including Switzerland, Germany, Israel, Korea and New Zealand since first being launched in 2020. And they have accumulated a collective 4 million miles (6.5 million km) so far.

A 6×4 model of the truck on display at the annual ACT Expo was equipped with two 90-kW hydrogen fuel cell systems and a 350-kW e-motor that generates 1,650 lb-ft of torque. When fully fueled at 700 bar and loaded to a maximum gross vehicle weight of 82,000 lb., it offers a range of more than 450 miles (725 km), the company says.

“Together with our partners, we are making hydrogen mobility a viable solution for our customers. We go beyond the truck itself to include areas such as hydrogen refueling and truck maintenance,” said Mark Freymueller, senior vice-president and head of commercial vehicle business innovation.

Hydrogen value chain

“Here in the U.S., we plan to do the same, since each case needs its tailor-made service approach, especially during the transition phase from traditional to hydrogen. We plan to provide the best hydrogen value chain scenario for each and every customer,” he added.

The company plans a commercial vehicle incubation project at the Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America – a dedicated electric vehicle factory being established in Georgia that will produce Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia electric-vehicles. Its logistics systems will integrate hydrogen fuel cell trucks.

Hyundai Motor Group says it will also foster a clean hydrogen ecosystem through a “waste to energy” project that produces hydrogen using the biogas from organic waste such as food waste, livestock manure, and sewage sludge. It is currently demonstrating the concept with a local government in Korea.

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