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Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell van due in 2020

Hyundai Motor Group is aiming to launch hydrogen fuel cell electric light vans and pickups within two years, and targeting cost-parity with diesel from 2025.

Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell
Hydrogen fuel cell technology offers hundreds of miles of range, with short refuelling times.

Ki-Sang Lee, senior vice president of the company’s Eco-Technology Development Center, told Fleet World that the company sees commercial vehicles – particularly trucks and buses – as a potentially even larger market than passenger cars, due to the range requirements that these vehicles have.

Hyundai is already conducting on-road testing of fuel cell buses in its home market of South Korea, and its new-generation Nexo fuel cell SUV is launching in Europe later this year. It has also begun partnering with Audi to accelerate the speed with which both companies can bring the technology to market.

But Ki-Sang said the Nexo’s technology – which offers hundreds of miles of range, five-minute refuelling times and the ability to offer a power take-off for electrical equipment – would also be applied to lighter commercials.

“We have already started with that application, and in our domestic market we will launch it in around 2020. That’s vans or pickups in the 1.5-tonne range. We can easily expand that to other countries,” he explained.

“The next step, to 2025, is we want to reduce our fuel cell stack system on-costs so they are comparable with current diesel technology. That’s our ultimatum for the fuel cell project.”

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Written by Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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