Make / Model Search

Future models - Hyundai - Xcient

Hydrogen haulage hopes for Hyundai

Hyundai pushing for adoption of hydrogen-powered heavy vehicles in Australia

7 Feb 2022

THE roll-out of hydrogen-powered trucks and buses could be the next development for Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA), which has successfully deployed its Nexo fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) into the ACT and Queensland state governments’ vehicle fleets.


Hyundai says it anticipates a growing market for its advanced hydrogen technologies in Australia – not only passenger and commercial vehicles, but also in stationary power applications.


Currently, Australia has singular hydrogen-vehicle refuelling stations in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney, though not all are available for public use.


But in an exclusive interview with GoAuto, HMCA senior manager of future mobility and government relations Scott Nargar said it was clear that many more hydrogen filling hubs would need to be rolled out to make the technology viable – especially if hydrogen was to eventually replace diesel as the prime driver of Australia’s $101.5 billion road-freight industry.


“We’ve had a lot of requests (for our hydrogen-powered Xcient FC trucks and buses) from across Australia,” Mr Nargar told GoAuto.


“They are not only a very real alternative to diesel-powered heavy vehicles but, given their consumption of around 50kg of hydrogen per day on average, represent a great return on investment for those people developing hydrogen-vehicle refuelling assets across the country,” he said.


Already available in China, Europe and North America, the Hyundai Xcient FC is equipped with a 180kW hydrogen fuel cell system comprising two 90kW stacks. 


Hyundai says the fuel-cell system has been specifically adapted to meet the durability and range demands of commercial fleet operators and quotes a system output figure of 350kW and 2237Nm.


Storage of approximately 31kg of hydrogen fuel is handled by seven large tanks with supplemental power supplied by three 72kWh high-voltage batteries.


The maximum driving range of the Xcient FC is around to 400km when loaded – it has a 16,300kg payload – and refuelling takes anywhere from eight to 20 minutes, depending on the ambient temperature.


Hyundai currently sells its hydrogen-powered Xcient FC truck and bus range in left-hand-drive configuration only, but Mr Nargar told GoAuto that the company was working with markets including New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, South Africa, and others to develop an opportunity for a right-hand-drive version of the current generation truck, which may include market-specific specialist conversion centres like those of American pick-up importers ASV and Walkinshaw.


“That’s something we’re looking at right now, and again, the factory is also looking at timing for right-hand drive. So, we’ll continue to try and stay in front of the market, because we know the demand is here,” he said.


Given the success hydrogen trucks and buses have enjoyed in other markets, we’re confident we could have similar conversion levels here. Heavy vehicle fleets really are the key.”


Referencing hydrogen-vehicle refuelling stations networks in other countries, and the proposed Hydrogen Highway project along the Western Australian coast, Mr Nargar said it was possible that by spacing stations within a reasonable distance of one another would help to foster interest in the hydrogen-mobility sector, in much the same way electric vehicle charging infrastructure had for electric passenger cars.


“With cars, it’s hard to justify larger hydrogen-vehicle refuelling stations, but with a couple of truck or bus fleets, and a number of passenger cars, it really starts to make sense. Those are the types of programs we’re looking at,” he said.


“We’re also looking at where these stations could be deployed. If there is a warehouse next door, for example, you can run the forklifts off it, and a multifunction side to this business, to make sure it’s run at capacity, is something that will make investors want to build the next station, and the next.


“Having hydrogen-vehicle filling stations placed within a reasonable distance of each other will mean we can start to ramp up the rollout of our product and maximise the throughput at these stations. In turn, that will help the industry secure further funding, which is really key to getting the whole project underway.”

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Hyundai models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here