Hyundai has been in the spot light ever since the company announced plans to develop one of the first heavy duty fuel cell electric trucks, the XCIENT. The vehicle is currently being integrated into the commercial vehicle market and is gaining popularity after each sale, offering lesser range constraints through its Fuel Cell technology, as opposed to Battery electric technologies.
New Zealand is currently in the process of taking advantage of both electrification strategies. Under the Government Emissions Reduction Plan a target has been set to cut emissions from freight transport by 35 per cent by 2035. Heavy transport makes up 4 per cent of New Zealand’s transport fleet but is responsible for 25 per cent of all transport emissions.
In attempts to accelerate electrification within New Zealand, the first of Hyundai New Zealand’s five XCIENT hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric trucks has been purchased by NZ Post. This truck will take over from one of its emission-heavy diesel counterparts, saving 1701 tonnes of C02 per year from being emitted into the environment and displacing approximately 100 passenger cars emissions based on typical annual mileage. In order to address refueling constraints, high capacity hydrogen refueling stations are on their way, such as Hiringa Energy’s four North Island stations coming online in early 2023. Until these first commercial refueling stations are built, the truck will be fueled using green hydrogen supplied by BOC.
NZ Post’s Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell truck will now undergo a validation process. This includes operating the truck 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. Once the commercial infrastructure is in place next year, the truck’s ideal first operational route is likely to involve Auckland to Hamilton to Auckland to Whangarei.
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