New Zealand’s First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck to Hit the Road Is a Hyundai XCIENT

Hydrogen-fueled trucks are slowly but steadily taking over highways in different parts of the world. With five Hyundai XCIENT trucks gearing up to start commercial operations, followed by 20 Hyzon trucks, New Zealand is becoming one of the early adopters of fuel cell technology for cargo transportation.
The first Hyundai XCIENT truck will hit the road in New Zealand this month 6 photos
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Newsroom reports that the first hydrogen fuel cell truck in New Zealand is ready to hit the road this month. It’s been here since the end of last year, but it took a while to convert it to right-hand driving and to complete the paint job and bodywork. The second one will follow as soon as next month, with three more expected to join them.

These are all Hyundai XCIENT models, ready to pioneer hydrogen-based freight transportation in the country. But they won’t be the only ones, as the Rochester, New York-based Hyzon is also set to deliver 20 fuel cell trucks to New Zealand.

Ryan McDonald, the head of new business at Hiringa Energy, the company that has built a network of refueling stations for hydrogen vehicles, believes that what sets apart New Zealand from other countries when it comes to transportation is its “long and narrow nature.”

Unlike the more complex system of main highways and coastal highways in places like the U.S. or Australia, New Zealand’s highway system made it easier to try hydrogen-based transportation. Only four refueling stations are capable of covering most of the country’s heavy freight routes, which would be very challenging in the U.S., for example.

But being an early adopter isn’t just about the advantages. McDonald also told Newsroom that unless more hydrogen vehicle manufacturers ramp up production, the increasing demand on the market could lead to supply issues. Also, the dedicated infrastructure should continue to expand over the next decades. According to Andy Sinclair, Hyundai New Zealand general manager, government incentives could help support this.

The Hyundai XCIENT truck features a 180 kW hydrogen fuel cell system, with two 90 kW fuel cell stacks, capable of storing up to 68 lbs. (31 kg) of fuel in seven large tanks. This would ensure a maxim range of about 250 miles (402 km).


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