Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell HD Truck On Its Way

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
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hyundai xcient fuel cell hd truck on its way

The Hyundai Xcient is on its way to becoming the first mass-produced hydrogen-powered, heavy-duty truck. Design and performance improvements have made it more competitive with those expected from Mercedes-Benz, Toyota-Hino, and Nikola.

“Leveraging more than 20 years of experience in fuel cell technology, Hyundai Motor furthers its vision of an eco-friendly hydrogen society,” said Jaehoon (Jay) Chang, Commercial Vehicle Division CEO and president.

“Hyundai will contribute to widespread adoption of hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles with the 2021 Xcient Fuel Cell.”

Xcient Fuel Cell’s 180-kW hydrogen fuel cell system has two 90-kW fuel cell stacks. Improved durability and fuel efficiency have made it more competitive with others in its class.

A 350-kW e-motor with 2,237 Nm torque is said to provide dynamic driving performance.

Seven large fuel tanks hold 31 kg, while a 72-kWh set of batteries supplies power. The maximum driving range is around 400 km. Refueling a full tank of hydrogen takes anywhere from 8 to 20 minutes, depending on ambient temperature.

The Xcient Fuel Cell’s updated exterior design has a V-shape. The high-tech fuel cell electric truck has a new grille, with a blue color point surrounding it, and graphics that signal its hydrogen energy usage.

A 6×2 rigid body as well as the 4×2 option introduced previously are available.

HD fuel cell truck global advancement plans for Hyundai have been accelerated with this launch.

Hyundai shipped 46 Xcient Fuel Cell units to Switzerland last year. Their cumulative range is 750,000 kilometers as of May, 2021. Over that distance, the hydrogen-powered trucks reduced carbon emissions by an estimated 585 tons versus diesel-powered vehicles.

Switzerland will receive 140 additional Xcients by year’s end. 1,600 heavy-duty fuel cell electric trucks will be in Europe by 2025. Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility, a joint venture between Hyundai Motor and H2 Energy, will introduce Xcient in other European countries.

2021 Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell production begins in August.

[Images: Hyundai]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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  • RHD RHD on May 28, 2021

    "The Perfect Solution for Better Future" Hyundai needs an editor. Proofreading is, apparently, an underappreciated, undervalued and underutilized skill. Meanwhile, their designers have created a front end that will cleanly squash you into a waffle, then devour you like a preying mantis eating an aphid.

  • H2 still does not exist on earth and must be manufactured. Storage and transportation of it are cumbersome. There are better ways to store energy at room temperature and one atmosphere of pressure. Fuels cells themselves are very mature technology and very robust.

  • Doc423 Spoken like a true Unionite..."we'd still be in the dark ages as peasants working for the big, evil company", it was the US Dept of Labor that stopped this, not unions.
  • Irvingklaws I think I read that the amount of charge delivered isn't (yet anyway) really enough to charge-up a typical EV battery, only to lessen the amount of drain. Still, I'd think the best application would be on major intestate highways where vehicles tend to be traveling long distances without much stopping, and range is a real concern. Don't see much point installing into city streets where most EVs are probably already well within range of their home/destination. I'd think it would be easier to install and maintain on long stretches of highway as opposed to typical city streets. As with EVs themselves it could make sense for some, if not all, use cases.
  • CaddyDaddy As Tassos sweats profusely on a hot August afternoon on the Autobahn, his W120 struggles to maintain 2nd gear up the hill as the OM636 in all its farm field water pump grade sophistication agricultural glory is pushed to its limit delivering all 36hp. In his review mirror a gleaming grill of a 54' Eldo is fast approaching, and in mere seconds whooshes past were he sees wealthy American diplomats sitting in Air Conditioned suit coat comfort motoring with fully automatic 4-speed hydromatic drive. He shrugs his shoulders and says, to the Victors goes the Glory!
  • Pig_Iron Thanks Corey, your series are always very interesting. 🙂
  • Bufguy Thank God it wasn't a Subaru or Nissan with a CVT, as their transmissions for all intents and purposes have infinite ratios!