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Hyundai confirms Neptune name for truck concept

HDC-6 Neptune concept previews second fuel-cell electric truck from Hyundai

22 Oct 2019

LESS than two weeks after GoAuto reported that Hyundai Motor Group had lodged an Australian trademark application for the ‘Neptune’ name to be used on an upcoming fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV), it has released two renderings of the HDC-6 Neptune concept that preview a zero-emissions truck that will go toe to toe with Tesla’s aptly named Semi.


Referencing the Roman God of the sea, the HDC-6 Neptune will be revealed on October 29 at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta, Georgia, where it will become the second FCEV truck from the South Korean company, following in the tyre tracks of the H2 Xcient that was detailed last month.


Powertrain and range details are yet to be confirmed for the HDC-6 Neptune, which could feature the H2 Xcient’s 190kW FCEV system that connects two 95kW fuel-cell stacks in parallel, with the pair fed by seven large hydrogen tanks that enable about 400km of zero-emissions driving before needing to be refuelled, which takes a matter of minutes to do.


Comparatively, the Semi uses a battery-electric powertrain with four motors. Its driving range on a single charge is 483-805km (depending on payload), while DC fast charging can add 644km worth of ‘juice’ in half an hour.


Previewed by one of the renderings, the HDC-6 Neptune’s “modern (exterior) design draws inspiration from the streamliner railway trainsets of the 1930s with its Art Deco function-driven style”, according to Hyundai Motor Group.


“Similarly, the HDC-6 Neptune design team found new ways to combine both form and function to create an entirely unique new solution within the commercial-vehicle industry,” it added in a press release.


Inside, the HDC-6 Neptune reveals its concept nature with a continuous display around the circumference of its large windshield that serves in place of a traditional instrument cluster and central infotainment system.


The HDC-6 Neptune also features an augmented reality (AR) head-up display that projects key driver information, such as the speed limit and turn-by-turn directors, on the road ahead.


Hyundai Motor Group is no stranger to FCEVs, with the current-generation Nexo and previous-generation ix35 Fuel Cell mid-size SUVs having made their presence felt Down Under in the past five years.


“We have cemented the fuel-cell technology leadership position in the passenger-vehicle sector with the world’s first commercially produced fuel-cell EV and the second-generation fuel-cell EV, the Nexo,” said Hyundai Motor Group head of commercial vehicle business division Edward Lee.


“With the introduction of HDC-6 Neptune, in addition to the road proven Xcient fuel-cell truck, we expand our technology leadership into the commercial-vehicle sector by unveiling our vision of how fuel-cell electric trucks can resolve the environmental equations of widely used commercial vehicles and our commitment to create a decarbonised society.”


As reported, the HDC-6 Neptune could form a key part of the company’s plans to produce 500,000 FCEVs a year by 2030 under its FCEV Vision 2030 project that was announced in December last year.


Hyundai Motor Group and its suppliers are investing nearly $A10 billion in fuel-cell development and manufacturing programs for both vehicles and other applications, such as drones, boats, ships, trains and forklifts.


In Australia, the company FCEV rollout is in its early stages due to the lack of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. However, that did not stop the ACT government from taking delivery of 20 Nexos as part of its Hornsdale wind farm project.


Each member of this Nexo fleet has a driving range of about 660km per tank and can be refuelled in a few minutes at a special station located in the Canberran suburb of Fyshwyk.

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