As the COP25 in Chile cancellation exemplified the bizar reality of social unrest about (conventional)  fuel prices, while Chile is gearing up to mobilize its green H2 export potential,  Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) on October 28, 2019 revealed two new FC trucks  at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show. Part of its Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) 2030 Vision for wide-spread deployment of hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology,  the HDC-6 NEPTUNE Concept Class 8 heavy duty truck and Hyundai Translead (HT) refrigerated concept trailer, the HT Nitro ThermoTech® should contribute to mass emission reductions of road transport. In December 2018, Hyundai invested USD 6.4 billion to accelerate the development of a hydrogen society, looking beyond passenger vehicles.

“Today at this show, by showing HDC-6 Neptune, the first hydrogen-only concept for Hyundai Motor Company’s commercial vehicles, we will start exploring opportunities in the United States commercial vehicle market,” said Edward Lee, Head of Hyundai Commercial Vehicle Business Division. “Furthermore, we are willing to work with other partners to pave the way to establish a hydrogen ecosystem for commercila vehicles.”

At the same show Kenworth GM Kevin Baney, commented on the Kenworth and Toyota collaboration to develop 10 zero-emission Kenworth T680s powered by Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrains.The effort is part of a $41 million Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities (ZANZEFF) grant awarded by the California Air Resources Board, with the Port of Los Angeles as the prime applicant. So far, the Kenworth assembly plant in Renton, Washington, has produced four hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) – with a fifth truck now in production. Kenworth provides the T680 chassis and cab, motors, transmission, and cooling systems, and delivers overall FCEV integration. Toyota provides fuel cell stacks, hydrogen tanks, load balancing batteries, and other components necessary to deliver the high voltage to the motors, in addition to the controls for that power.

The program’s first FCEV to enter real-world service will go to Toyota Logistics Services by year-end for operation at the Los Angeles ports. The full contingent of 10 FCEVs is expected to enter operation in the ports and Los Angeles basin 2020, and will be placed into service by UPS, Toyota Logistics, TTSI and Southern Counties Express. Baney explained that the fuel-cell trucks built so far are in high demand, making appearances at trucking industry events such as the NACV Show and as part of Toyota promotional efforts, but at the same time they are working to put testing miles on them.Already, he said, as later iterations of the 10 are being built, engineers are already tweaking th design. “We’re already getting to second and third generation technology, whether it’s motors or hydrogen tanks, they’re being developed as it goes,” Baney said. “The intent is to develop and prove the technology and develop the business case.” Asked how the hydrogen fuel cell project positions Kenworth to meet California Air Resources Board proposed regulations that would require a certain percentage of a manufacturer’s trucks to be zero emissions, Baney said, those proposals “continue to change.” However, noting the high cost of battery technology, “Our position is there will still have to be subsidies in order for customers to run battery-powered trucks.”