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Hyundai Motor’s hydrogen trucks to start rolling in California from 2023

Hyundai Motor’s Xcient fuel-cell trucks. (Hyundai Motor)
Hyundai Motor’s Xcient fuel-cell trucks. (Hyundai Motor)

Hydrogen fuel-cell trucks from Hyundai Motor will hit the roads in California by 2023, said the South Korean automaker Tuesday, after it won a bid to provide clean-fuel vehicles for two clean-air projects in California.

This will be Hyundai’s largest deployment of hydrogen vehicles in the United States.

A consortium led by Hyundai and California’s Center for Transport and Environment, a government organization that promotes eco-friendly transportation projects, will roll out 30 units of Hyundai Motor’s Xcient fuel-cell truck by the second quarter of 2023.

The two secured $29 million in funds from California’s environment authorities and local government agencies there to support the project.

The Xcient fuel-cell truck is the world’s first mass-produced, zero-emission, heavy-duty truck powered by hydrogen. The US model will have a driving range of 800 kilometers, said the company.

Ahead of the mass rollout, Hyundai was awarded a separate $500,000 grant from the California government for a separate one-year pilot project to demonstrate two of its hydrogen trucks on the state’s southern coast.

Hyundai will be utilizing three hydrogen refueling stations built by FirstElement Fuel, the US market leader in the field, to charge those trucks.

“We plan to establish a hydrogen value chain in the United States and make efforts to introduce various lineups of hydrogen-fuel based commercial vehicles there,” said Chang Jae-hoon, Hyundai Motor’s executive vice president.

The South Korean automaker has been aggressively deploying hydrogen-fueled trucks overseas.

Hyundai shipped 46 hydrogen trucks to Switzerland last year, and plans to export 1,600 more to the European country by 2025. It’s also planning to export to China by 2022, starting with mid-sized hydrogen trucks. 

By Kang Jae-eun (
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Korea Herald daum