At the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta Hyundai Motor Co. unveiled a hydrogen fuel cell truck and trailer combo. Hyundai also said it was considering to enter the U.S. commercial vehicle market.
Hyundai, based in South Korea, showed its HDC-6 Neptune Concept Class 8 heavy-duty truck. The truck builds on the fuel cell work Hyundai has developed for its Tucson and Nexo passenger vehicles.
Hyundai stated that the tractor-trailer combination demonstrates how clean cargo transport will develop in the U.S. Fuel cells are an excellent technology for heavy-duty trucks because they can provide a longer driving range, higher payload and less refueling time than a battery-electric long haul truck.
Rival companies see a future in battery-electric trucks. Daimler Trucks North America is launching electric Freightliner Cascadia models and Volvo Trucks has a similar program with its medium-range VNR model. Volvo sais it will start commercial production next year. Tesla also is developing a heavy-duty electric truck.
Also companies like Kenworth, Toyota and Nikola Motor are developing hydrogen fuel cell heavy-duty trucks for the U.S. market. Paccar company Kenworth is working with Toyota to build 10 trucks for use in Southern California in a project. The first trucks will begin service later this year. Daimler also said it has long term plans for fuel cell truck commercialization.
The Hyundai Neptune Concept styling is inspired by the Art Deco streamliner railway trains that ran from 1936 until 1959. Just as those trains represented the top transport technology of the time, Hyundai believes its Neptune concept also represents a technological advance.