Hyundai has unveiled two concepts, including the HDC-6 NEPTUNE Concept, a hydrogen-powered Class 8 heavy duty truck, as it seeks to reinforce its vision for the widespread deployment of hydrogen-powered fuel cell technologies.

In addition to the HDC-6 NEPTUNE Concept, Hyundai Translead (HT) – a leading trailer manufacturer – also announced the launch of its new clean energy refrigerated concept trailer, the HT Nitro ThermoTech.

The concepts were unviled at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show in Atlantia, Georgia, the country’s leading truck fleet-focused event.

“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 CV.”

Hyundai is hoping that the dual announcements of truck and trailer provide a tantalising window into the future of transportation in the United States, and around the world.

The company has been a global leader in fuel cell technology since the company launched the first mass-produced and commercially available fuel cell electric vehicle in 2013.

Hyundai followed this up in 2018 with the launch of the FCEV NEXO – which earlier this month became the first production fuel cell to be crash tested by IIHS in the US.

The company also invested a further US$6.4 billion (AU$9.25 billion) in an attempt to accelerate the development of a hydrogen society that looks beyond passenger vehicles.

Which naturally leads to the HDC-6 NEPTUNE Concept, an evolved Class 8 truck which boasts advanced design, in-cab technology, and propulsion system.

The company’s announcement focused a lot on the Art Deco-inspired design of the HDC-6 NEPTUNE and less on the actual technical specifics of the vehicle.

However, the body-length grill is applied as both a design aspect and a means to increase airflow for the truck’s increased cooling requirements.

“HDC-6 NEPTUNE, the concept for the next-generation fuel-cell electric truck, embodies Hyundai Motor’s vision of mobility for a global hydrogen society, innovatively developed applying Hyundai designers’ creativity and the company’s advanced technology,” said SangYup Lee, Head of Hyundai Design Center.

Similarly, Hyundai is boasting that its HT Nitro ThermoTech concept trailer provides a “response to the rising challenges of clean transportation” by reducing greenhouse gases and dependence on fossil fuels while maintaining competitiveness.

Billed as “optimal” for transporting cold chain products, the HT Nitro ThermoTech is able to reduce temperatures faster than traditional refrigeration units and maintain precise temperature without being affected by outside temperatures.

Virtually noiseless and with maximum power available at all times regardless of whether the truck’s engine is off or idling, the HT Nitro ThermoTech is designed with a single one-piece structure including the side wall, front wall, and roof made with Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) skins.

“This refrigerated trailer concept represents a significant advancement in our continued commitment to corporate social responsibility,” said Bongjae Lee, Chief Executive Officer of Hyundai Translead.

“By developing innovative technology, Hyundai Translead is helping address climate change. The HT Nitro ThermoTech reduces pollutants and emissions while providing reliable and effective cold chain food transportation.”

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