Hyundai launches Xcient fuel cell tractor in the US

Hyundai unveiled its fuel cell tractor Xcient for the US market. The class 8 vehicle is already available in five other countries, including Germany and Switzerland.

The model shown in Anaheim, California, has two 90 kW hydrogen fuel cell systems (total 180 kW power) and a 350 kW electric motor. According to Hyundai, the 6×4 tractor has a range of more than 450 miles (724 km) when fully loaded.

The manufacturer already has a first buyer in the States. In 2021, Hyundai announced its NorCal Zero project, which will begin operating 30 Xcient FCEVs in California in the second quarter of 2023. It was said to be the largest commercial deployment of Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks in the US.

Moreover, Hyundai announced that it wants to set up a hydrogen mobility value chain in the US. That includes a project at the manufacturer’s EV factory, which is being built in Georgia. The goal is to “incorporate an eco-friendly logistics system integrating hydrogen fuel cell trucks and a complete hydrogen value chain.”

“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 refuelling and truck maintenance,” says Mark Freymueller, Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial Vehicle Business Innovation at Hyundai Motor. “Here in the US, we plan to do the same since each case needs its tailor-made service approach, especially during the transition phase from traditional to hydrogen.”

The company did not give any further details.

Hyundai already deploys the Xcient in five countries: Germany, Switzerland, Korea, New Zealand and Israel. The Swiss project is among the most prominent ones. Initial plans hoped for a fleet of up to 1,600 fuel cell trucks. However, the project did not take off as planned due to fluctuating energy prices.

Hyundai launched the Xcient in 2020. About half a year later, the company presented a revised version. Hyundai considers the Xcient the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen-powered electric truck for heavy-duty transport.


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