While this news story might not have much of an effect on us directly, we wanted to cover it because of what it means for the future of the Hyundai brand and, perhaps, the automotive industry as a whole. Fuel Cell technology has been rather elusive, despite so many brands working on it to some degree over the past several years. Hyundai has now put an actual fuel cell heavy-duty truck on roads for commercial use, with the first 10 units of the XCIENT Fuel Cell being shipped to Switzerland currently.
[ READ MORE: How do fuel cell vehicles like the Hyundai NEXO work? ]
“XCIENT Fuel Cell is a present-day reality, not as a mere future drawing board project. By putting this groundbreaking vehicle on the road now, Hyundai marks a significant milestone in the history of commercial vehicles and the development of hydrogen society. Building a comprehensive hydrogen ecosystem, where critical transportation needs are met by vehicles like XCIENT Fuel Cell, will lead to a paradigm shift that removes automobile emissions from the environmental equation.”
– Cheol Lee, Executive Vice President & Head of Commercial Vehicle Division, Hyundai Motor
XCIENT Fuel Cell Technical Specifications
|Max Gross Combination Weight||79,366 lbs. as pull-cargo|
|Max Gross Vehicle Weight||41,888 lbs. as rigid truck|
|Empty Vehicle Weight||21,594 lbs.|
|Max Speed||53 mph|
|Fuel Cell Stack||190 kW|
|Battery||661 V / 73.2 kWh|
What does this mean for the future?
While this might not seem to change much for the Hyundai production model brand, it means that fuel cell technology has come far enough along to be practical. It’s no longer strictly a futuristic dream, it’s happening on a small scale as we speak. Hyundai plans to roll out 50 of these trucks this year, and 1,600 by 2025. As the technology expands, so to will models like the Hyundai NEXO, and before long fuel cell vehicles might just be as prevalent as all-electric models.