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Hyundai raises hydrogen sport as new vehicles roll into Europe By Reuters 


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: New hydrogen gasoline cell vehicles made by Hyundai are pictured on the Verkehrshaus Luzern (Swiss Museum of Transport) in Luzern, Switzerland October 7, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photograph


By Vera Eckert and John Revill

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – South Korea’s Hyundai Motor plans to ship a brand new collection of fuel-cell vehicles to Europe later this 12 months, turning up the warmth on rivals in a battle to check the viability of hydrogen-powered heavy items transport.

A brand new class of the Xcient Hyundai truck, outfitted with extra environment friendly gasoline cells with longer life-span, is because of arrive in Europe within the fourth quarter, mentioned Mark Freymueller, CEO of Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility (HHM).

Hydrogen lags electrical batteries within the inexperienced transport stakes as a result of it’s costlier, however proponents say for long-haul transport hydrogen-powered vehicles have the benefit as a result of they’ve a larger vary.

HHM, a three way partnership between Hyundai and Swiss hydrogen firm H2 Vitality, has been renting out “inexperienced” hydrogen vehicles to industrial purchasers in Switzerland since final October on the earth’s most superior pilot within the discipline.

HHM plans to enter different European international locations subsequent 12 months. “Germany and the Netherlands are the more than likely,” Freymueller advised Reuters, including there was additionally curiosity for pilots from Austria, Norway, France, Italy, Spain and Denmark.

Hyundai’s newest push will put extra strain on native gamers, that are creating their very own hydrogen plans.

    These embrace Germany’s Daimler (OTC:) with Sweden’s Volvo and Italy’s Iveco, a unit of Italian-American automobile maker CNH Industrial (NYSE:), which is cooperating with low-emission truckmaker Nikola .

Hydrogen has come into the highlight in Europe, the place EU setting ministers need truck CO2 emissions reduce by a 3rd by 2030 from 2019 ranges, threatening potential diesel bans and better taxes however promising as much as 75% of decrease highway tolls for greener autos.

Though costlier than battery electrical autos, gasoline cell electrical autos, pushed by on-board hydrogen, will doubtlessly profit from Europe’s want to construct a world-leading trade across the hydrogen know-how.

    A examine by consultancy Berylls Technique Advisors reckons that by 2030, 25% of latest truck gross sales in Europe can be battery powered and 10% gasoline cell. However the ratio may change if inexperienced hydrogen is scaled up, it mentioned.


Hyundai selected Switzerland for its pilot on the idea of benign regulation, environmentally acutely aware prospects and dependable hydropower, which accounts for 58% of the nation’s energy combine. Native highway tax is waived for no-carbon autos whereas fossil gasoline ones pay round 800 euros ($977) for every tonne of CO2 they emit.

    “Anybody eager to see how gasoline cell know-how works on the highway ought to go to Switzerland,” mentioned Steffen Stumpp, head of the enterprise unit industrial autos at Berylls.

    Preliminary buyer suggestions on Hyundai’s pay-per-use pilot appears constructive. Drivers at grocery chain Coop like the same payload to diesel vehicles and with only some minutes of refuelling, a spokeswoman mentioned.

“There was no want to alter my driving type,” Nadine Sigrist, a driver for retailer Migros within the Zurich area, mentioned “What was new for me was the massive acceleration and the quiet engine.”

As extra Hyundai vehicles arrive, Swiss energy utility Alpiq is planning to ramp up its electrolysis capability at Niedergoesgen the place it produces inexperienced hydrogen that’s then transported on vehicles as fuel to filling stations.

“We’ll go from 2 megawatts within the course of double-digit, or 5-10 megawatts,” mentioned Amedee Murisier, head of hydropower technology at Alpiq and board member of Hydrospider, a Swiss inexperienced hydrogen three way partnership between Alpiq, gases group Linde (NYSE:) and H2 Vitality.

Hydrospider may attain breakeven as quickly as 2022, Murisier mentioned.


McKinsey expects hydrogen for gasoline cell electrical autos to attain break-even with diesel solely in 2028 on the earliest, however carmakers are pushing forward with plans, albeit at totally different speeds.

Nikola and Iveco say they are going to produce a gasoline cell electrical automobile by 2023, placing them two years forward of Volvo and Daimler Truck, that are muscling in however won’t have check vehicles for 3 and a half years.

Individually, Daimler group subsidiary Mercedes Benz will put together buyer trials for its GenH2 Truck in 2023.

“Nikola’s timeline is considerably forward of Daimler/Volvo,” mentioned Stumpp. “Hyundai can be neck on neck with Nikola/Iveco if they provide the Xcient in different European markets.”

Daimler Truck chief government Martin Daum mentioned {that a} hydrogen fuelling community wanted to be in place first earlier than gasoline cell vehicles would discover patrons, which might take years to develop, in order that they had been timing their strikes in step with the infrastructure.

Truckmaker Paccar (NASDAQ:)’s DAF can be within the sport, however its precedence is battery electrical autos, the place Nikola can be lively and plans market entry in fourth quarter 2021.

Different corporations have additionally chosen to place gasoline cell know-how second.

Traton, the truck division of Volkswagen (DE:), not too long ago mentioned that solely the battery route had been chosen by its MAN and Scania items.

“Hydrogen vehicles have a decisive drawback. Solely 1 / 4 of the unique vitality goes into propulsion, three quarters are misplaced by means of conversion,” Traton CEO Matthias Gruendler and various drivetrains specialist Andreas Kammel wrote in a column in newspaper Handelsblatt.

“With e-trucks, the ratio is the opposite approach round,” they mentioned.

Traton has left the door ajar by elevating its funding in truck maker Navistar (NYSE:) that’s creating gasoline cells within the Americas.


On the automotive provide entrance, corporations are hedging their bets.

Bosch, a gasoline cell proponent, has entered right into a three way partnership with China’s Qingling Motors to provide gasoline cell programs for 2022/2023.

Elringklinger and Mahle, too, are additionally engaged on gasoline cell know-how.

U.S. engine maker Cummins (NYSE:), on account of begin constructing a gasoline cell system manufacturing facility in Herten, Germany, later this 12 months, sees no battle.

“Gasoline cells will complement the BEV (battery electrical automobile) system in locations the place vitality storage, vary, weight and energy necessities are unable to be met by batteries alone,” mentioned Amy Davis, president of New Energy at Cummins.

“That is why we’re investing within the electrical automobile drivetrain parts, as a result of we predict these can be maturing too, and they are going to be key to each gasoline cells and batteries.”

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