Hyundai debuts hefty hydrogen-powered semi

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Tuesday 29 October 2019

Hyundai has revealed a new hydrogen-powered semi-truck with refrigerated trailer and announced it will “start exploring opportunities” in the US commercial market.

The truck, called HDC-6 Neptune, is a sleek machine with a design looking a lot like the art deco streamliner trains of the early 20th century. There’s a large wrap-around grille stretching around the lower portion of the cab which also hides the integrated steps.

As for the powertrain, Hyundai didn’t expand beyond the fact that it uses a hydrogen fuel cell. Presumably, the Neptune will be capable of long distance travel, just like the streamliners were.

As for the trailer, the HT Nitro ThermoTech uses a cryogenic nitrogen refrigeration technology system that Hyundai says has a carbon footprint 90 per cent lower than that of a traditional unit. The cooling system is “virtually noiseless,” reducing aural pollution for drivers and during deliveries.

Hyundai has also developed a new, enhanced structural design for the Nitro where the side walls, roof, and front wall are made from the same one-piece foam panel. The result is a lighter, stronger, and better insulated trailer.

The new truck and trailer form part of Hyundai’s FCEV Vision 2030 plan to build at least 500,000 FCEVs per annum by 2030. It shows Hyundai is dedicated to hydrogen but the manufacturer needs the infrastructure to catch up.

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