Hyundai has revised the appearance and technology of its XCIENT fuel cell truck. Besides a design update for the front, the 2021 version of the XCIENT comes with a revised powertrain that now combines a 350 kW electric motor with two 90 kW fuel cell stacks.
When the model was announced in 2019, two fuel cell stacks of 95 kW each were still mentioned, and the seven hydrogen tanks could store 35 kilograms of hydrogen gas. In the 2021 version, the number of tanks remains at seven, but the storage capacity is now stated at 31 kilograms.
Although the power of the fuel cells and the capacity of the tanks are slightly lower, Hyundai speaks of an improvement. “The fuel cell system’s durability as well as the vehicle’s overall fuel efficiency has been improved to better stay in tune with the demands of commercial fleet customers,” the statement says. These points were apparently more important to early adopters than a few more kW of fuel cell power.
Especially since batteries are still on board as a buffer: The three high-voltage storage units each hold 72 kWh and are mounted between the fuel cell with a total of 180 kW and the electric motor with 350 kW (2,237 Nm torque). The range is still said to be around 400 kilometres. The Koreans state that the refuelling process takes between eight and 20 minutes. The refuelling time depends on the ambient temperature.
The new edition of the truck is also now available in a 6×2 three-axle configuration in addition to the 4×2 two-axle configuration. Hyundai delivered a total of 46 units of the XCIENT to Switzerland last year, with 140 more to follow by the end of this year. Hyundai plans to bring 1,600 units to the Swiss market by 2025.
“The customers are very pleased with the quality and driving comfort of the truck. There is a lot of interest for the truck outside Switzerland as well,” says Mark Freymueller, CEO of Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility, announcing expansion: “We are very confident that we will see XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks on the road in other European countries next year.”
In addition, the fuel cell truck is expected to be launched in North America later this year. Hyundai says it is in talks with several local governments and logistics companies in the US to establish potential joint deployments of hydrogen-powered trucks for various purposes. For China, Hyundai is currently exploring several options for how the H2 truck could be deployed for commercial and government customers.