The Korea Herald


Hyundai Motor aims to lead hydrogen truck business in US

Korean automaker offers 30 fuel cell trucks for California’s zero-emission freight transportation project

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : May 3, 2024 - 14:15

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Hyundai Motor Company's hydrogen-powered electric truck Xcient Fuel Cell (Hyundai Motor Group) Hyundai Motor Company's hydrogen-powered electric truck Xcient Fuel Cell (Hyundai Motor Group)

Hyundai Motor Company is looking to spearhead the hydrogen-powered truck business in the United States as the Korean automaker welcomed the official launch of NorCAL ZERO Project, a pro-environment initiative using the company's hydrogen fuel cell technology to bring zero-emission freight transportation to the San Francisco Bay Area and California's Central Valley, on Friday.

"The NorCAL ZERO Project in Oakland marks a significant step forward in realizing Hyundai's vision for a global hydrogen society," said Ken Ramirez, head of global commercial vehicle and hydrogen business at Hyundai Motor Company.

"The project demonstrates how the transport energy transition is achievable today and will serve as one of the building blocks for Hyundai's port decarbonization initiatives worldwide."

Hyundai Motor was selected as the final winner of the project’s bid for an eco-friendly commercial truck supplier in 2021.

Following up on the selection, the automaker deployed 30 Xcient Fuel Cells, which debuted as the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen-electric heavy-duty truck in 2020, to California in the second half of last year. The delivery marked the single largest commercial deployment of hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric trucks in the US.

Hyundai Motor joined partners including the Center for Transportation and the Environment, the California Energy Commission and FirstElement Fuel for the official launch ceremony held at FirstElement Fuel’s hydrogen refueling station in Oakland.

The refueling station, which recently opened as the world’s first hydrogen fuel station for commercial trucks, is capable of filling a truck’s hydrogen tank in 10 minutes, meaning it can fill about 200 trucks per day.

According to the Center for Transportation and the Environment, the hydrogen truck project is projected to reduce carbon emissions by over 24,000 metric tons by the end of the project in 2028.

Having exported dozens of Xcient Fuel Cells to Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Israel and Saudi Arabia, Hyundai Motor plans to expand its hydrogen initiatives to more regions.