Hyundai Motor said Thursday that it is pushing for the global expansion of its Xcient Fuel Cell, the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell electric heavy-duty truck, as it delivered the first batch to customers in Switzerland.
At a delivery ceremony in Lucerne, Switzerland, Wednesday, Hyundai said it had handed over seven of the Xcient Fuel Cell trucks to seven customers — Coop, Migros, Travego, Galiker, Camion, Murpf and Leclerc — which are major Swiss retail and logistics firms.
The Xcient can travel up to 400 kilometers on one charge.
The automaker had shipped 10 of the trucks from Gwangyang Port in South Jeolla Province, with the remaining three to be delivered around the end of the month after installing cargo boxes, Hyundai said.
Hyundai will export another 40 Xcient Fuel Cell trucks to the country this year.
“The delivery of Xcient Fuel Cell starts a new chapter not only for Hyundai’s hydrogen push, but also the global community’s use of hydrogen as a clean energy source,” said Lee In-cheol, executive vice president and head of the commercial vehicle division at Hyundai Motor.
As for the supply deal in the Swiss market, Hyundai will provide the vehicles on a pay-per-use model, different from conventional sales.
By doing so it hopes to reduce the initial cost burden for customers and thus speed up the process of establishing a foothold in the European market, Hyundai said.
Calling the delivery to Switzerland the beginning of its overseas expansion, Lee revealed the company’s plans to expand into commercial markets beyond Europe, such as North America and China.
The South Korean carmaker aims to export 64,000 hydrogen-powered trucks by 2030 amid growing demand for eco-friendly vehicles around the world.
To back its expansion plan, the company said it will raise the production capacity of the Xcient Fuel Cell to 2,000 units per year by 2021, by investing $1.3 billion. This is in addition to the $6.4 billion it has already committed toward establishing a hydrogen ecosystem.
By 2025 Hyundai aims to supply 1,600 of its heavy-duty FCEV trucks to European countries, including Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, and over 25,000 by 2030, the automaker said.
In the US, Hyundai expects more than 12,000 fuel cell trucks to hit the roads by 2030, the company said.
As for the Chinese market, the automaker said it is closely cooperating with the government, which is working toward the goal of 1 million FCEVs by 2030, and it aims to export over 27,000 units of the fuel cell vehicle by 2030, Hyundai added.
In 2018, Hyundai Motor Group announced that it will invest 7.6 trillion won ($6.58 billion) in hydrogen car production facilities and related R&D activities by 2030. Under the plan, the group plans to churn out 500,000 hydrogen vehicles in 2030.
It is planning to develop a hydrogen truck that can travel more than 1,000 kilometers on a single charge, it said.