South Korean automaker Hyundai is making moves to establish itself as a player in the nascent zero emissions truck field, teasing images of a new art deco-inspired truck concept that would run on hydrogen, to join its H2 Xcient fuel cell truck.
Two very slick looking, curved cabs outlined in blue strip lighting, and an artist’s sketch of the cab’s interior were released by the company on Monday along with the name “HDC-6 Neptune”.
The design comes from Art Deco streamliner trains of the 1930s, says Hyundai, and we have to say we are looking forward to seeing the truck’s design in full glory.
The name Neptune has, not surprisingly, been chosen in recognition of the Roman god of the same name’s dominion over the world’s largest potential source of hydrogen – the ocean.
Inside the cab, a sweeping dash and functional yet elegant lines characterise the seating and controls of the interior space.
Hyundai has invested considerably in hydrogen fuel cell technology with its fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) the Nexo, alongside its award-winning Kona battery electric vehicle and its smaller cousin, the Hyundai Ioniq.
“We have cemented the fuel cell technology leadership position in the passenger vehicle sector with the world’s first commercially produced fuel cell EV and the second generation fuel cell EV, the Nexo,” said Hyundai’s head of commercial vehicles Edward Lee.
But in the development of the new fuel cell truck, Hyundai is not only leveraging its knowledge in developing the Nexo – the same vehicle that will be trialled using the ACT’s first public hydrogen refuelling station.
It is also calling on knowledge gleaned from the development of the H2 Xcient, 50 of which it announced in September it would be providing to Switzerland by 2025.
No specific details have yet been released on the HDC-6 Neptune, although one might surmise from the images supplied it will be a step up from the H2 Xcient, which uses two 95kW fuel cell stacks and a 35kg hydrogen tank to deliver 400km of range.
The H2 Xcient will source its hydrogen from a join venture called Hydrospider between Alpiq, H2 Energy and Linde, which will begin producing green hydrogen at Alpiq’s Gösgen hydroelectric power station from the end of 2019.
The HDC-6 Neptune will be unveiled in full at the upcoming North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta, suggesting that its main market, once it goes into production, will be the US.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.