NZ Post takes delivery of first Xcient FCEV

In News4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 21, 2022

The first of Hyundai New Zealand’s five Xcient hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric trucks has been handed over to NZ Post, making it the foremost hydrogen-powered truck to enter service in this country.

The truck will replace a conventional diesel-powered vehicle and is expected to save 170 tonnes of CO2 per year (based on 200,000km). Green hydrogen to fuel the truck will be supplied by BOC from its Glenbrook facility until the first commercial refuelling stations are ready in early 2023.

Once the commercial infrastructure is in place, this truck’s ideal first operational route will likely be Auckland-Hamilton-Auckland-Whangarei. In the meantime, NZ Post will first put the truck through a validation process. This includes operating it in different configurations – first as a truck only, then as a truck and trailer combination on several routes, gaining New Zealand-specific performance information to refine software settings and define the best-operating routes for this technology.

“We are very proud to be leading the way by putting the country’s first hydrogen truck into commercial operation,” says NZ Post CEO David Walsh. “Sustainability is a big deal to all of us at NZ Post, and we see hydrogen technology as one way to contribute to reducing our emissions within New Zealand’s road-freight sector.”

NZ Post CEO David Walsh, Minister Megan Woods and Andy Sinclair – Chief Executive Officer, Hyundai Motors New Zealand Post  Photo: Brett Phibbs / PhibbsVisuals

NZ Post has a stated goal of being a fully carbon-neutral business from 2030. The company approximates that 95% of its emissions come from fuel burn. While heavy transport makes up just 4% of the company’s transport fleet, it is responsible for 25% of emissions. NZ Post (excluding Fliway) currently has 169 trucks made up of line-haul and metro.

Hyundai New Zealand CEO Andy Sinclair says he’s delighted that NZ Post is the first to invest in this zero-emission transport technology.

“Heavy transport emissions are notoriously hard to offset, as electric battery vehicle alternatives can’t offer companies the same productivity. Larger trucks are driven all day, every day, over long distances. Taking multiple hours to recharge a battery regularly is time the truck can’t be on the road. Hydrogen technology is an important solution for NZ Post and other similar businesses to introduce as part of reducing heavy freight emissions.

Andy Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer hands over the keys to NZ Post CEO David Walsh.  Photo: Brett Phibbs / PhibbsVisuals

“Kiwis should keep an eye out for the Xcient FCEV – it might be their parcel in the back, travelling without the environmental impact of diesel and in a remarkably quieter manner,” he says.

“With the start of commercial operation of our Xcient Fuel Cell trucks, I hope New Zealand will lead the way in sustainability,” said SeungMin Lee, Hyundai Motor Company vice president and head of commercial vehicle global new business development group.