Hyundai fills up with hydrogen for zero emission trucks
SEOUL, June 22 (Korea Bizwire) – Hyundai Motor Group is on its way to an all-electric future by adopting a two-track strategy to supply batteries for electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, in hopes of expanding its presence in the growing market for environmentally friendly cars. of the environment.
The world’s fifth-largest automaker is one of the few industry players to develop both electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) as part of its plan to phase out gasoline-powered cars. internal combustion by 2030.
Compared with electric vehicles poised to enter the mainstream market beyond eco-warriors and early adopters, the FCEV passenger market is still in its infancy due to still high prices and lack of gas stations.
Both types of vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions, but they use different sources of energy to power their electric motors. FCEVs generate electricity from hydrogen and emit only water, while EVs run on lithium-ion batteries.
Betting zero-emission utility vehicles will play an important role in a greener future, Hyundai Motor has stepped up its marketing efforts for its Xcient fuel cell heavy-duty trucks, setting a goal of sell 64,000 hydrogen trucks by 2030.
Hyundai claims that Xcient can travel around 400 kilometers on a single charge and that it takes around 8 to 20 minutes to fill up with hydrogen, depending on the ambient temperature.
The automaker realigned its hydrogen strategy from passenger cars to utility vehicles, such as trucks and buses, as it failed to enter the mass market with NEXO, Hyundai’s second-generation commercial FCEV available in some markets.
Hyundai has sold a total of 16,152 NEXO fuel cell SUVs since its launch in March 2018, with domestic sales accounting for 84%, mainly thanks to heavy subsidies.
Its price is around 70 million (US $ 61,800) in South Korea, although more than half of the price can be deducted from government subsidies.
NEXO’s only competitor is Toyota’s Mirai sedan, as Japanese rival Honda Motor has announced it will stop production of the Clarity fuel cell car this year due to low demand.
Market watchers say FCEVs may be a more feasible zero-emission alternative for commercial vehicles, which travel longer distances and stick to designated routes.
“The initial market for FCEV grew relatively slower (than electric vehicles) due to technical difficulties, safety concerns with its hydrogen tanks and lack of charging infrastructure,” the company said. ‘SNE Research market research in a report.
“FCEVs are expected to increase their market share in the utility vehicle segment as their longer range and faster charging speeds are more suitable for long haul trucks. “
The global commercial vehicle market was estimated at 24.4 million units in 2020, and South Korea only made up 1.2% of the total, according to data from SNE Research.
Less than 1% of commercial vehicles on the road were environmentally friendly vehicles, leaving plenty of room for growth in the years to come as environmental regulations tighten in large economies.
With a relatively small domestic truck market, Hyundai has made a foray into Europe with stricter environmental regulations and plans to expand its presence in China and the United States.
Since July 2020, the automaker has shipped 46 Xcient trucks in Swiss and is expected to deliver 140 more this year as part of a plan to export around 1,600 units to Europe by 2025.
“There is also a lot of interest in the truck outside of Switzerland,” said Mark Freymueller, CEO of Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility, in a statement. “We are very confident to see XCIENT fuel cell trucks on the roads in other European countries next year. “
In Asia, Hyundai is increasing its holdings in China, the world’s largest automotive market, which has set itself the goal of having 1 million FCEVs on the road during this decade.
In November, Hyundai signed two separate initial agreements with Chinese companies in major industrial zones to supply 4,000 hydrogen trucks by 2025.
Hyundai has signed a memorandum of understanding with Shanghai Electric Power Co., Shanghai Sunwise Energy Systems Co. and Shanghai Ronghe Electric Technology Financial Leasing Co. to supply 3,000 hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks over the next five years to companies. from the Yangtze River Delta region.
The company also signed another memorandum of understanding with Advanced Technology & Materials Co. and HBIS Group to supply 1,000 hydrogen trucks to enterprises in the Jingjinji region, also known as the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Economic Zone.
Additionally, Hyundai plans to introduce hydrogen trucks to the North American market this year, saying it is in talks with several local governments and logistics companies in the United States to establish potential joint hydrogen truck operations. .
At our site, Hyundai plans to deliver 5 Xcient trucks to local shipping companies, including CJ Logistics, Hyundai Glovis and Coupang, a major e-commerce operator with its own logistics network, later this year as part of a test program launched. jointly with the ministries. environment, industry and transport.
Industry watchers say Hyundai’s hydrogen push needs government support until the market expands to have economies of scale and several companies compete to bring the industry up. at the level.
“To foster the hydrogen vehicle segment, the government needs to create demand by providing incentives for public segment utility vehicles and old trucks and buses,” said Jun Hyun-joo, researcher at the Korea Institute of Technology. automobile.
“The private and public sectors should join forces to tap the market for commercial hydrogen vehicles overseas, which is still in its infancy. “