Hybrids & Electrics

The Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell Semi Truck Finally Arrived

The Hyundai Xcient fuel cell semi truck is starting to be delivered worldwide to offer a more efficient way to haul freight. The hydrogen-powered trucks will make their way to North America soon as Hyundai expands its Xcient program. 

What is the Hyundai Xcient semi truck? 

In July, Hyundai shipped the first Xcient Fuel Cell semi trucks to Switzerland, and they have finally arrived. With their arrival, Hyundai has finally revealed more information about its hydrogen-powered trucks and the Xcient program. 

Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell Semi Truck
Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell Semi Truck | Hyundai

According to AutoBlog, Switzerland truck fleets received seven units, and a total of 50 should reach Europe by the end of the year. Hyundai Xcient semi trucks should provide 1,600 units by 2025. 

Cheol Lee, Hyundai Executive, Vice President, and Head of the Commercial Vehicle Division, shared that the recent delivery is just the beginning as it opens endless possibilities for clean mobility. 

With the first successful delivery of Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell Trucks, Hyundai proudly announces its plan to expand beyond Europe to North America and China, where significant progress is already being made. 

When is the Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell semi truck coming to America? 

To support rising global demand, Hyundai aims to reach a production capacity of 2,000 units per year by the end of 2021. It will also invest an additional $1.3 billion beyond its original $6.4 billion investment to establish and support a hydrogen ecosystem and hydrogen society. 

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Hyundai plans to deliver 12,000 Xcient fuel cell trucks to the U.S. by 2030. Hyundai has an even bigger plan for China with the goal of making three fuel cell trucks available in the near future. There are plans for a medium-duty truck by 2022, and two other heavy-trucks will follow, but the timeline hasn’t been specified. 

The Hyundai Xcient trucks delivered to Switzerland were 4×2 day cab semis. They have a cabover design that is more popular in European countries. North America will get 6×4 tractors, as staying on the road is more prevalent here. But we don’t know how these hydrogen-powered trucks will look yet. 

How do Hyundai Xcient trucks work? 

The Hyundai Xcient trucks delivered to Switzerland are powered by two 95-kilowatt fuel cell stacks borrowed from the Hyundai Nexo. There is also a 73.2-kWh battery pack that supplies energy to a 350-kW electric motor. 

The truck can pull a maximum gross weight of 36 tons, including the trailer, and has seven 350 bar tanks that store up to 32 kg of hydrogen. The Xcient boasts a roughly estimated range of 248 miles (400) km. 

2020 Hyundai Xcient driving on mountain roads
2020 Hyundai Xcient | Hyundai

Recharging the Xcient takes about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the filling station’s pressure storage, which is almost the equivalent to how long filling a semi truck with diesel takes. But will hydrogen fueling stations be available? 

Currently, there are only 39 hydrogen fueling stations in the United States, and all but four of them are in California. This caused the Hyundai Nexo sales to stall as roughly 284 million Americans outside of California have no access to hydrogen fuel stations.