Hyundai ships first batch of hydrogen trucks to SwitzerlandJuly 13, 2020
On the roads of Switzerland will appear the world’s first production trucks with hydrogen fuel cells. A batch of 10 Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell cars is already loaded onto a ship in South Korea and will soon arrive at the port of Basel. This is the first batch of 1,600 hydrogen trucks ordered for the European concern H2 Energy. There is only one problem – in Switzerland there are no hydrogen gas stations at all.
Hyundai Xcient trucks are equipped with a 190 kW hydrogen fuel cell system. Tanks with 32 kg of hydrogen are installed inside the trucks, which provide a range of about 400 km. At the same time, refueling one truck takes no more than 20 minutes, according to New Atlas.
The trucks were ordered by the energy company H2 Energy and gas station operators. Representatives of H2 Energy believe that Hyundai Xcient will quickly pay for themselves and play a big role in terms of reducing carbon emissions. Cars will be put into operation immediately after arrival. The automaker will ship another 40 trucks by the end of this year.
“Xcient fuel cells are our reality, not just a sketch for the future. Along with the launch of this innovative truck, Hyundai is opening a new milestone in the history of commercial vehicles and the development of the hydrogen society, ”said Ying Chol Lee, Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor.
The problem is that in Switzerland there are practically no stations for refueling new trucks. H2 Mobility Association expects to install six gas stations in different parts of the country by the end of 2020, and for now the government will re-equip several warehouses for hydrogen production in different parts of the country. Given the small territory of Switzerland, trucks will be able to deliver goods to anywhere in the country and return back for refueling.
The first batch is only part of a major deal between Hyundai and H2 Energy. Back in 2018, the companies agreed to supply 1,000 hydrogen trucks, now this figure has grown to 1,600 vehicles with a delivery time in Europe by 2025.
As for cars, the hydrogen Hyundai Nexo is not in great demand two years after the announcement. Critics say the hydrogen market has hit a logical dead end. The lack of hydrogen gas stations is killing the demand of potential buyers, and car manufacturers are not ready to develop infrastructure around the world in the absence of sufficient demand. Only a state interested in subsidies for green transport can provide a solution, and Switzerland is a rare exception rather than a rule.
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