Hyundai And H2 Energy To Launch 1,000 Hydrogen Trucks in Switzerland

SEP 20 2018 BY MARK KANE 63

Hyundai hopes to launch 1,000 hydrogen trucks in Switzerland.

Hyundai announced the world’s first fleet of fuel cell trucks in partnership with Swiss company H2 Energy. In total, 1,000 vehicles are to be deployed in Switzerland between 2019 and 2023, which on average is 200 annually (in the beginning the numbers are expected to be lower though). The two companies have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The South Korean semi-trailer truck, hinted at ahead of IAA, will be able to drive up to 400 km (250 miles) in real-world conditions using 32.86 kg of hydrogen stored in eight tanks.


  • Gross Vehicle Weight 18 ton (GCW 34 ton with trailer)
  • Driving Range of 400 km (250 miles)
  • Tank Capacity / Pressure 32.86 kg H2 (8.2 kg/100 km) / 350 bar
  • Hydrogen Refueling Time 7 min
  • Traction Motor 350 kW / 3,400 Nm (471 PS / 246 kgf·m)
  • Fuel Cell Stack Power 190 kW (2x 95 kW)
  • Length 9,745 mm, Width 2,550 mm, Height 3,730 mm, Wheelbase 5,130 mm

According to Reuters, Hyundai sold so far around 1,140 hydrogen fuel cell cars, which shows how big is the deal for 1,000 trucks is in comparison with the current achievement.

More in the press release:

The MOU signing ceremony took place in the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018 exhibition’s convention center and was attended by key individuals from each company, including Hyundai Motor’s Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial Vehicle Division, In Cheol Lee, as well as Chairman of H2E, Rolf Huber.

We are yet again advancing the field of fuel cell technology in the automotive industry with today’s announcement of our ambition to commercialize the fuel cell electric truck for the first time in the world” said Executive Vice President In Cheol Lee. “We will continue to seek opportunities for expanding into other markets by carefully monitoring multiple factors such as fueling infrastructure and governmental policies.

In Cheol LeeHyundai Motor’s Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial Vehicle Division

The fuel cell electric truck is being developed according to European regulations. It features a new 190kW hydrogen fuel cell system with two fuel cell systems connected in parallel, also a feature of NEXO. It is expected to deliver a single-fueling travel range of approximately 400km, and in order to secure sufficient range, eight large hydrogen tanks are being compactly installed, utilizing areas such as between the cabin and the rigid body.

The fuel cell electric truck boasts a distinctive design. It is presented in a simple and clean design which is also aerodynamically efficient, and features a spoiler and side protector.

The front grille symbolizes hydrogen through geometric shapes, giving the vehicle a unique and powerful look. The vehicle emanates an eco-friendly look with a blue color application and a bold side body graphic on the container, which also visualizes its dynamic character.

H2 Energy is a company specialized in the production and supply of renewable hydrogen in Switzerland, with business subsidiaries in Germany, Norway and Austria. The company is experienced in the roll out of an optimized hydrogen ecosystem, which focuses on commercial viability for all stakeholders.

H2 Energy plans to make Hyundai’s fuel cell electric trucks available to its Swiss customers starting with the dedicated members of the Swiss H2 Association, which includes several refueling-station operators, retailers and other customers focusing on eco-friendly innovative solutions for logistics and goods distribution.

A sustainable hydrogen economy needs a designated ecosystem for hydrogen. This is why our collaboration between Hyundai Motor, H2 Energy, the Swiss H2 Association, and Key electricity producers in Switzerland is strategic and makes a lot of sense.

Rolf HuberChairman of H2 Energy

Fuel cell electric powertrain technology has advantages over battery electric powertrain technology in its applications to larger vehicles such as trucks and buses. Fuel cell technology saves space and reduces weight as well as being more cost efficient to apply as the vehicle size increases. Therefore, the technology is deemed to have a wide array of opportunities to be utilized in the commercial vehicle field.

The global demand for eco-friendly commercial vehicles is expected to increase as eco-friendly government policies are enforced around the world.

To cater to growing opportunities in the sector, Hyundai plans to diversify its fuel cell electric commercial vehicle line-up. Currently under development is the medium sized fuel cell electric truck (Payload: 4~5ton) which can be used in the public services domain such as vehicles used for cleaning.

Hyundai Motor also introduced fuel cell electric express buses during the PyeongChang Olympics in South Korea last February and is currently conducting a pilot operation with fuel cell electric buses in South Korea’s major cities, whilst reviewing plans for mass production by 2020. Domestically, FCEV taxis and car-sharing services are operating on public roads in Ulsan and Gwangju.

Hyundai Motor began the world’s first fuel cell electric vehicle lease in the United States, also supporting its wider transport industry, including FCEV taxis, and car-sharing services to further support the spread of eco-friendly technology usage.

Fuel cell electric truck specification (4×2 cargo truck) *

Gross Vehicle Weight18 ton (GCW 34 ton with trailer)
Length9,745 mm
Width2,550 mm
Height3,730 mm
Wheelbase5,130 mm
Driving RangeApproximately
Hydrogen Refueling Time7 min
Tank Capacity / Pressure32.86 kgH2 / 350 bar
Fuel Cell Stack Power190 kW (2x 95 kW)
Traction Motor350 kW / 3,400 Nm (471 PS / 246 kgf·m)
Safety FeaturesFCA, LDW **

* Vehicle under development and production model specification may vary.
** FCA: Front Collision Avoidance Assist, LDW: Lane Departure Warning.

Categories: Hyundai, Trucks

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63 Comments on "Hyundai And H2 Energy To Launch 1,000 Hydrogen Trucks in Switzerland"

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Even though many people see BET (Battery Electric Trucks) as the future of transportation, for long distance trucking, the race is not yet as clear as for cars and small trucks. The main issue, fuel cells need to adress is: how to get hydrogen cheaper, how to reduce maintanance on the fuel cells, how to reduce cost of the refueling stations (currently 20x more expensive as a electric fast charging station). When I compare the Toyota Mirai to a current state-of-the art BEV, the only advantage is the very fast refueling. Range, performance is completely comparable. Current cost of ownership of a fuel cell vehicle is the highest. With respect to the volume of the hydrogen tanks needed, to give a significantly higher range compared to a BEV, a large truck or other large vehicles (ships etc) appear the only practical use case I can imagine for fuel cell powered vehicle. Before favoring one technology over the other, lets observe the competition and see who wins. Fuel cells have a higher efficency at higher speeds compared to BEV (without including thr source of the hydrogen fuel). As a truck travels typically long distances on highways, this technology might prove itself… Read more »

There’s like 14k bev busses in one city in China. That’s pretty good proof that bevs will take over in the bus arena.
Cities, and bus companies, to fulfill your commercial requirement, all around the world, are switching to bev busses, garbage trucks, vans, and other commercial. It’s true that there are no long-haul semis that are bev yet, in any numbers, but there are many short-haul ones already being made, by Volvo, Mercedes, etc..So if just discount reality and the evidence that we already have, I suppose I could see your point. Unfortunately I have always had a very sensitive BS meter, and fcv talk, always sets it off.
The banquet table is filling with seats taken by bevs, and there is not much room left for the poor fcv.
Still I can see some use for fcv in farm equipment, forklifts, and other areas where you could have a dedicated fueling site.

And that is going to be problem for the hydrogen designs. If a company is already doing local distribution using short range BEV trucks it makes more sense to add long range BEV trucks than hydrogen trucks unless you can show some big cost savings using hydrogen ones.

@Jan said: “…When I compare the Toyota Mirai to a current state-of-the art BEV, the only advantage is the very fast refueling…”

Yes but you can’t hydrogen refuel from point of origin (your home or business) so each refuel event requires a trip to a remote refuel location… those trips take time… that time adds up.

They esp add up when there are so few of them.

Exactly. How many trucking companies are going to be willing to reroute all their long-distance trucking routes to include time-and-distance-wasting detours for refueling? Not many, that’s for sure!

Also, hydrogen is reformulated from methane, so, no global warming solution, no air pollution, and more expensive then Wind & Solar. So, Economic and Environmental failure.

H2 Energy, unless they are lying through their teeth, make H2 from water, not from reformed methane. Switzerland gets almost 100% of its electricity from hydro- and nuclear power plants, so the energy to electrolyze water would be carbon-free as well. If anyone, the Swiss (and the Norwegians) are in the best position to make clean H2.

By the way, if the i3’s REX was a FC instead of ICE, it would be a lot smaller 🙂

Fuel cell stacks aren’t exactly small…

“you can’t hydrogen refuel from point of origin”
Walmart or Amazon or many other warehouses do the this “impossible” refueling every day and night for years, as TCO of it is less than for batteries. When you are in business and work multiple shifts you don’t have luxury to take long breaks for charging, and dedicated charging or battery swapping space costs money & lost revenue.
The same calculation goes for delivery trucks when zero tailpipe is requirement. Single shift mom&pop stories would achieve lower TCO with overnight charging, big multi-shift warehouses with H2 refueling.

@zzzzzzzzzz said: “…Walmart or Amazon or many other warehouses do the this “impossible” [hydrogen] refueling every day and night for years…”

Yes hydrogen fueled forklifts that can be quickly refueled have had success in TCO displacing lead-acid battery powered forklifts that require multi-hour (8-16 hours) recharging time and a costly lead-acid battery maintenance program .

But the significant cost reductions last three years in fast charge battery technology has changed the TCO calculus for forklifts.

The emerging new generation of forklifts powered by modern fast charge batteries (30min charge time & longer run time between charge) is swinging TCO back in favor of battery powered.

Li Ion option is well known, but “fast” 30 minute charge is not good enough. Especially if it creates issues with grid demand charges or peak power limits. And you need to pay extra for Li Ion in the first place.

Sure Li Ion industrial vehicles are getting business case in some situations, but it is not a universal solution, that is why you still see lead batteries or H2 forklifts everywhere.

H2 may make sense for small vehicles which don’t use that much energy in a day, so the cost of fuel isn’t very important. Vehicles like forklifts.

The economic case is very different for heavy freight trucks, for which the cost of fuel is about half the TCO.

And if you don’t even know that, then you have no business arguing with those of us who do have some understanding of the basic economics under consideration.

“those of us” – who are “those of you”? Single grain truck driver who doesn’t even have driver’s license anymore and have hard time doing basic math? But obviously knows things much better than these “foolish” people who run big businesses :/

In the US driver wages & benefits are twice as much as fuel cost. (see table 11)
Add depreciation, maintenance, insurance and you will find that fuel is just around 21% of marginal cost.

Sure fuel is much more expensive in Europe, but these 18 ton Hyundai trucks look more like local delivery vans, not like 40 ton OTR trucks either.

Remember that per his HIGHNESS, Hydrogen vehicles “VIOLATE KNOWN LAWS OF PHYSICS”, as he’s told us at least 50 times, and, he is so much more educated in Physics than those of us who have formal university education in the matter.

Of course, the HEAD of California’s CARB supposedly violated those laws every day with her MIRAI vehicle.

I’m not as enthralled with these vehicles as you are zzzzzzzz, but one place we will agree is that it really doesn’t matter what pushi says since he wrote such ignorant tripe so many times.

Of course, now that he is so OBVIOUSLY wrong, even to himself (perish the thought), he continues further down here redefining ‘Violating Laws of Physics’ to only mean ‘Uneconomical’.

Since when did the Gov’t or Military care the slightest about whether something is ‘Uneconomic’?

And since Pushi is so enthralled with Nuclear Power (now, myself I’m Guardedly in favor of SOME Nuclear Power – because I realized what dangers there have been in the past – but I’ll admit that as time goes on, Nukes SHOULD be somewhat safer), GEN IV plants (which he won’t live to see) will make all the free Hydrogen anyone would want.

Current Chestnuts (Insurmountable difficulties with the dispensaries, until new technologies come along to get rid of the Blow-By issue) admittedly will eventually be solved.

Reading further down the comments, Of course, now that he is so OBVIOUSLY wrong, even to himself (perish the thought), he continues further down here redefining ‘Violating Laws of Physics’ to only mean ‘Uneconomical’.

Since when did the Gov’t or Military care the slightest about whether something is ‘Uneconomic’?

And since Pushi is so enthralled with Nuclear Power (now, myself I’m Guardedly in favor of SOME Nuclear Power – because I realized what dangers there have been in the past – but I’ll admit that as time goes on, Nukes SHOULD be somewhat safer), GEN IV plants (which he won’t live to see) will make all the free Hydrogen anyone would want.

Current Chestnuts (Insurmountable difficulties with the dispensaries, until new technologies come along to get rid of the Blow-By issue) admittedly will eventually be solved.

3 down votes – Pushi finally read the comments — hehe.

For applications that really can’t take a break for fast charging, there is always battery swapping.

Your fool cell fanboi propaganda is pure, unadulterated B.S. There is no way that using H2 fuel yields a lower Total Cost of Ownership than using diesel fuel for freight trucks.

If you’re basing your analysis on forklifts… well, do let us know when shipping companies start using forklifts for offsite deliveries. 🙄

Smell your clean diesel as much as you want.

Others are looking for better options, and you are not in position to tell people in Switzerland what air they should breath.

@CDAVIS said: “…can’t hydrogen refuel from point of origin (your home or business…”

As is pointed out by @zzzzzzzzzz, I concede Amazon & Wal-Mart have installed hydrogen refueling stations at some of their distribution facilities to displace their legacy lead-acid battery forklifts.

@Jan said: “Neither BET nor FCT have proven themselves for now in a commercial use. The next years will be exiting….”

BYD is currently enjoying proven success in their commercial EV bus division… they selling a bunch of these:

I agree next few years will be interesting for EV commercial trucking… likely that segment will be hugely disrupted by Tesla Semi.

H2 needs a longer distance for a cheaper price. 250 miles? Wow.

H2 freight trucking needs the laws of physics to be repealed, or for someone to “invent” a hydrogen molecule with much more advantageous physical/ chemical properties. Neither appears likely to happen in the real world. O_o

How do you figure that fuel cell is higher efficiency at higher speeds?
That rates as one of the more insane ideas on here.

Fool cell fanbois have a well-developed, finely honed ability to deny science and ignore reality. It’s a requirement for them. Otherwise, they would face reality and stop being fool cell fanbois!

A larger vehicle does *not* automatically put batteries at a disadvantage. That’s just bad maths.

Where batteries become problematic, is extremely long distances. Hydrogen struggles with this too, though: we are yet to see any hydrogen road vehicle with significantly longer range than BEVs.

I agree that the situation *might* be different for even longer ranges, like for ocean-going vessels.

Not for ocean-going ships, either. H2 has a very low energy density by volume, which means far too much of the ship’s cargo and/or passenger capacity would be eaten up by large H2 fuel tanks. And anyway, using H2 is still about twice as expensive as diesel for the same amount of energy used to propel the vehicle/ ship; so again, what shipping company wants to pay twice as much for fuel?

Assuming Hydrogen production costs don’t go down. It’s a bit like saying BEV’s will always be more expensive than ICE cars because batteries cost $150 a kWh…

Yeah, I don’t see it becoming cost-competitive either… Question is, what other paths are there towards zero-emission shipping? It might become a necessity.

Article headlines: “Hyundai And H2 Energy To Launch 1,000 Hydrogen Trucks in Switzerland”

Sorry but this defies common sense… battery will obviously win out to hydrogen both for consumer cars and commercial trucking.

For commercial trucking the bottom line is always TCO… that alone disqualifies hydrogen fuel cell powered trucks.

There is no existing or in-development technology to make the production, distribution, storage, & fuel-cell electron conversion of hydrogen more economical than existing well developed battery storage technology.

I think that is still a viable use for them as yard mules, whereas they are close to a refuel point, and under almost continuous use. You would also want to create the fuel on site. Still an ev could do same job, and cheaper, though. Toyota, Hyundai, and others continue to plow money into the FCV, I agree it’s not money well spent.
As far as widespread availability goes, that is just not in the cards, as then you would have to build an entire network of refueling locations.
I would go so far as to say the article above and it’s claims are a fictitious thought experiment and will never come to fruition.

Batteries can’t provide “almost continuous use”. I.e. just how most big businesses operate.
You need either to swap batteries – it may be done with forklifts at significant cost, but for road trucks it gets prohibitively expensive. Or you need to keep second set of vehicles, which raises capital costs 2x. And in any case you need to keep dedicated charging area, which is another expense.

Once you add everything, more expensive fuel may still provide lower TCO. That is why H2 powered industrial handling vehicles replace rechargeable battery ones under certain conditions. It isn’t much different for road trucks that operate from the same warehouses, if zero tailpipe emission is required. Coop (Swiss retailer) already does it.

Hahaha, calling battery swapping “prohibitively expensive”, while touting hydrogen fuel cells — that’s a good one 😛

“I think that is still a viable use for them as yard mules, whereas they are close to a refuel point, and under almost continuous use.”

Only where the H2 can be generated on-site as a byproduct of another industrial process, and where it would otherwise go to waste. Using waste heat from a power plant to generate and compress H2 would be an example of that.

Trying to use H2 as a fuel for anything beyond point-of-generation use — for example, trying to use it for over-the-road freight trucking, which is the subject of this article — is a non-starter, and always will be.

It’s quite literally nothing but wishful thinking to believe any trucking company is going to convert from diesel to a fuel as expensive, impractical, and difficult to work with as highly compressed H2.

For yard mules, you could probably just go with super-capacitors…

Their logic is that the customer for these trucks are H2 companies. These FC trucks are marketing for their own product. They can’t wait around forever for trucking customers to want a product like this since they aren’t practical so they are hoping that they can at least sell them among themselves as a PR move and as rolling billboards to hope that that will jump start interest.

“H2 Energy plans to make Hyundai’s fuel cell electric trucks available to its Swiss customers starting with the dedicated members of the Swiss H2 Association, which includes several refueling-station operators, retailers and other customers focusing on eco-friendly innovative solutions for logistics and goods distribution.”

33KG for 250 miles, that’s the number to remember. That’s 7.6 miles per KG so unless the cost of one kilo of distributed hydrogen drops to about the price of one gallon of diesel (since heavy diesel trucks get about the same MPG as these HFCV trucks will get miles per kg) these HFCV trucks will not be competitive with diesel from a fuel cost perspective. Maintenance/depreciation will likely work further against HFCV trucks.

Diesel at pump is 1.75 franks/liter in Switzerland, or around $6.85/US gallon.

It is taxed as it should be in developed country, as it is source of PM, NOx and other harmful emissions. It isn’t cheaper than hydrogen at pump when you account for better fuel cell truck economy, which essentially operates like hybrid with regular hybrid battery and no idling in traffic.

Diesel truck – 25 l / 100km * 1.70 = 43 CHF. For 400 km 170 CHF.
This fuel cell truck for 400km is 33 kg * 10 CHF (optimistic market price) = 330 CHF.

Dead On Arrival.

Your are creating BS fuel economy numbers out of thin air.
Diesel engines are quite efficient, but PEM fuel cells are better, plus you don’t need to idle them in city traffic.

Speaking of B.S. …people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

This is good from an air pollution standpoint, but There are some details missing. How much are these going to cost? How much are the filling stations going to cost? where’s the H2 going to come from? If it’s from methane, then it’s still a fossil fuel. Are they getting government subsidies for all of this? If so, how many BEV trucks could they have gotten into service with the same level of subsidies?

In this article they are bought by a company which business it is to make renewable H2. So they don’t need to BUY H2, they make it, that’s their business. In that case, added with the fact that the H2 is renewable, it is probably interesting from a cost perspective relative to diesel and electricity.

But for all others, who must buy H2 full price, and at rare filling stations at that, BEV semis probably are the way to go.

That’s like arguing that a chemical company which produces alcohol should run its delivery trucks on alcohol because they make it themselves.

No, economics doesn’t work that way. It’s still cheaper to use mass-produced trucks running on (relatively) low-cost diesel, with diesel’s vast infrastructure of fueling stations and truck stops.

Once you include the high construction and maintenance costs for building high-pressure H2 truck fueling stations, I very seriously doubt that running on H2 will be as cheap as diesel even for the H2 producers themselves. And that’s not even considering the fact that the unit cost of producing fool cell trucks in low numbers will be considerably higher than the unit cost of mass produced diesel trucks.

No mention of Hydrogen COST???
What methane source are they going to use?


Looks like they use hydrolysis form hydro power- although that does mean there’s a significant methane side effect as dams cause the production of a fair amount of methane (rotting flooded vegetation) and environmental damage, but that’s no different whether the electricity goes into BEV vehicles of is used for hydrolysis.

There’s a big difference. It takes about 3.5x to 4x as much energy to generate, compress, store, and dispense highly compressed H2, per mile of travel, as using that same electricity to charge batteries.

Just because a H2 producer doesn’t have to pay itself a profit for H2 fuel, doesn’t mean that magically makes H2 fuel any more practical… or any less polluting on a well-to-wheel basis.

Using H2 fuel is almost as polluting as using diesel, and far more expensive for at-the-pump prices.

Just like every other scheme for widespread use of H2 fuel for wheeled vehicles, this one is dead on arrival.

How is using H2 fuel almost as polluting as diesel? Or are you still on the methane cracking argument, even though it’s not relevant here?

10 years ago were you making these very same arguments against BEV too? You’re no better than the EV deniers you love to hate.

False equivalency. Just because two different technologies both see criticism, doesn’t mean the criticism is equally valid or invalid in both cases.

H2. Waste of time and energy while polluting.

Semi-trailer? Nope, this is clearly a rigid truck.

“[…] more cost efficient to apply as the vehicle size increases” — that’s a plain lie straight from the press release.

Well, what do you expect if the press release was written or co-written by H2 Energy? When someone promotes the “hydrogen economy” hoax, lying becomes second nature for them. After awhile, they probably can’t stop themselves even if they want to.

Remember the parable of the Frog and the Scorpion? “I can’t help it — it’s my nature”.

1000 fool cell trucks on the road in Switzerland alone? What, do thermodynamics and the Laws of Physics work differently in Switzerland? Are Swiss trucking companies eager to pay 2x or more per mile for fuel to run their trucks down the road? 🙄

Raise your hand if you think this will happen in the real world… not in some science-denier fool cell fanboi fantasy world.

To Hindenburg or not to Hindenburg? Than is the question. And the Hindenburg was not even under high pressure. First video of a hydrogen vehicle tank exploding after impact may change more than a few minds about it.

The tanks are supposed to withstand impact. Would take some serious manufacturing defects or other f***-up for them to explode…

Still had to laugh, though 😉

The Hindenburg exploded due to the ‘skin’ basically being made out of solid rocket booster fuel. The proximate cause was the grounding cables did not have sufficient current limiting resistors in them, in concert with the poor conductivity of the skin sections that caused excessive sparking between the sections when quickly grounded – of which there was plenty of charge to dispel since the blimp had just been through a bad lightning storm.

Helium would Not have helped since the Hydrogen was *NOT* the flames seen on the ground. Wrong color flame. After the frame was destroyed the Hydrogen did burn off, but it didn’t cause any further trouble compared to what had previously happened to the skin and frame.

For people who Constantly yell SCIENCE, SCIENCE!!!! there was a VERY GOOD PBS “Secrets of the Dead” program on the subject (unlike modern day NOVA programs that are all FLASH and of course, they don’t worry too much about being actually accurate).

Most of the currently used Hydrogen is coming from reforming Methane or Propane and blowing the CO2 into the air during this process. The vehicles could use LNG or LPG right away then as fuel.

Another problem with hydrogen is the cost a a refueling station is approx 1 million US$, high pressure tanks (700 – 800 bars) or liquefied to minus 255C has its price.

When using electricity from the grid for electrolysis of hydrogen it takes 3-4 times as much energy than using BEV. Here a quote from Dr. Ulf Bossel who is working on hydrogen since decades: “” Hydrogen, the artificial energy carrier, can never compete with its own energy source, electricity, in a sustainable future””

Toyota has it now Hyundai.

Um… Please prove me wrong, but I believe Walmart and Amazon are using hydrogen vehicles for ” greenwashing” their brands and not because it is more economical.

Well that’s a good thing for EV drivers since Walmart is putting fast chargers in many of their stores all over the US.

For whatever reason Walmart actually did it, I’m sure BEV drivers appreciate the fast charger availability just the same.