Hyundai launched its first fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) six years ago and announced last December that it would spend $ 6.4 billion to develop such vehicles and infrastructure.
Now, the company has unveiled the two new concepts – hydrogen-powered Class 8 heavy truck, the HDC-6 Neptune Concept, and a green-energy refrigerated trailer, the HT Nitro ThermoTech Concept.
Revealed at the North American Commercial Vehicles Show in Atlanta (Georgia, USA), the concept is an important next phase of the company’s FCEV 2020 vision for a hydrogen ecosystem. It says fuel cells are the perfect fit for heavy-duty trucks and long driving distances due to higher drive range, higher payload, less refueling time, and ultimately lower costs.
The design inspiration came from the streamliner railway trains that ran from 1936 until 1959, a prime example of Art Deco industrial design, the automaker says.
The HDC-6 NEPTUNE makes sense for fuel cell technology due to its quick refilling, but no exact details have been given about it or the electric drive. However, it is a sleek, technology-packed cargo hauler with a groundbreaking futuristic architecture. For maximizing cooling, the design team has used the grill of the concept of commercial vehicles across the entire lower portion of the Hyundai HDC-6 NEPTUNE. The grill concept also integrates the retractable steps, which are cleverly hidden.
On the other hand, the HT Nitro ThermoTech concept is designed for transporting cold products. Announced by Hyundai Translead (HT), a leading trailer manufacturer, this refrigerated trailer concept has the intelligent control system and independent cooling power maximize thermal efficiency. The new, almost silent “cryogenic nitrogen cooling system” contributes to its environmentally friendly operation by reducing carbon footprint by 90% compared to a conventional refrigerator trailer today.
In addition, the HT Nitro ThermoTech concept trailer features new, enhanced structural designs. Besides, the sidewall, front wall, and roof made from the same one-piece, structural sandwich foam panel with Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) skins. The foam panel design creates a lighter weight trailer with increased wall strength and enhanced thermal efficiency.
“This refrigerated trailer concept represents a significant advancement in our continued commitment to corporate social responsibility,” Bongjae Lee, Chief Executive Officer of Hyundai Translead said in a release. “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.”
Hyundai is already producing batch fuel cell vehicles in series, and in partnership with Swiss energy company H2 Energy, it will launch 1600 fuel cell trucks in Switzerland between 2019 and 2023.