Five-million kilometres for Xcient fuel cell trucks

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 21, 2022

Twenty operators of 20 Hyundai Xcient hydrogen trucks have come together at an event in Olten, Switzerland to cover their five-millionth kilometre driven in two years.

“Over the past two years and more, we have been on the road with numerous partners and visionaries at the pace of a start-up to prepare this project and also to put it into practice,” said Jörg Ackermann, president of the Association pro H2 mobility Switzerland.

“The five million kilometres already driven show that it works. We see this milestone in the history of mobility as the perfect moment and motivation to continue developing the H2 ecosystem.”

The heavy H2 trucks that reached this milestone were the current models of the Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell, the first series-produced heavy commercial vehicle with fuel cell electric drive. Visitors to the H2 Trucker Meeting in Olten were also able to examine the next generation with a 4×2 and 6×2 truck.

The basis for low-emission electromobility with fuel cell vehicles is green hydrogen, as currently produced in Switzerland by Hydrospider AG at the run-of-river power plant in Niedergösgen. Hydrogen production began at the same time as the first hydrogen electric trucks went into service two years ago. Hydrospider transports the hydrogen by means of high-pressure containers to the current eleven hydrogen filling stations in Switzerland.

“Green hydrogen will play an indispensable role in the energy transition and decarbonisation,” said Nicolas Crettenand, CEO of Hydrospider AG.

“Hydrogen can replace the fossil fuels that are mainly used today, especially in the area of heavy-duty transport. We are very pleased with these five million kilometres, but at the same time they have challenged us. The hydrogen electric trucks drive so much and so reliably that we have to expand production as quickly as possible and thus create the conditions for further growth on the production side.”

A second production facility in Switzerland will be commissioned by SAK (St. Gallisch-Appenzellische Kraftwerke) and Osterwalder St. Gallen (AVIA) before the end of the year.

With this plant, an important goal of the eco-cycle is increasingly coming to fruition, the establishment of decentralised production of green hydrogen. This will further reduce the transport distances between production and hydrogen filling stations.