Hyundai Motor Company unveils fuel cell truck

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 4, 2019

Hyundai Motor Company unveiled a hydrogen fuel cell truck and trailer at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in October, indicating it was going to explore opportunities in the US commercial vehicle market.

It introduced the HDC-6 Neptune Concept, while Hyundai Translead (HT), the company‘s trailer division, launched its HT Nitro ThermoTech, a clean energy refrigerated concept trailer.

HDC-6 Neptune Concept

The HDC-6 Neptune Concept styling is inspired by the Art Deco streamliner railway trains that ran from 1936 until 1959.

“The fuel cell powertrain gave us the opportunity to redefine the classical typology and architecture of the truck,” said Luc Donckerwolke, chief design officer of Hyundai Motor Group. “The Hyundai Commercial Vehicles Design Team started with a white sheet of paper focusing on the new defined functionality resetting all standards in order to project commercial vehicles in the future.”

Due to increased cooling requirements, the grille of the Neptune takes up most of the lower portion of the vehicle. This creates a distinctive image while maximising airflow. The grille concept also integrates the hidden retractable steps. The combination of both cabover and conventional truck formats achieves packaging efficiency and improved ergonomics.

“HDC-6 Neptune, the concept for the next-generation fuel cell electric truck, embodies Hyundai Motor‘s vision of mobility for a global hydrogen society, innovatively developed applying Hyundai designers‘ creativity and the company‘s advanced technology,” said SangYup Lee, head of Hyundai Design Center.

Hyundai has other fuel cell trucks under development. Through its joint venture with H2 Energy, Hyundai is providing 1600 FCEV heavy-duty trucks to the Swiss commercial vehicle market. Following this, the US market is an important next phase of the company‘s FCEV 2020 vision.

HT Nitro ThermoTech Concept

The HT Nitro ThermoTech concept trailer provides a response to the rising challenges of clean transportation: reducing greenhouse gases and dependence on fossil fuels while maintaining competitiveness.

Developed in collaboration with Air Liquide, the HT Nitro ThermoTech concept trailer‘s carbon footprint is up to 90% lower than a traditional unit.

Temperatures are reduced faster than a traditional refrigeration unit and maintained with precise control. The control system and independent cooling power maximise thermal efficiency, and are not affected by outside temperatures. Maximum power is always available, even when the truck‘s engine is off or idling.

The trailer is quieter than a conventional unit, which is an advantage for night-time deliveries in urban and suburban neighbourhoods where noise can be distracting.

“This refrigerated trailer concept represents a significant advancement in our continued commitment to corporate social responsibility,” said Bongjae Lee, chief executive officer of Hyundai Translead.