Hydrogen Fueled Vehicles, 0-Emissions World
Hyundai Leading the Way
|Source: Hyundai's Hydrogen Semi-Truck|
US Startup Nikola Coming on Strong
South Korea based Hyundai is quickly becoming the leader among global automakers in deploying hydrogen powered vehicles. It recently shipped the first ten of its Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell hydrogen semi-trucks. It's the world's first, fuel cell powered, heavy duty truck. And it's the first, mass produced hydrogen truck. The hydrogen vehicles went to Switzerland. Another 40 hydrogen trucks from Hyundai will be on Swiss roads by the end of 2020. It's the beginning of a Hydrogen Highway Ecosystem, with hydrogen fuel stops eventually being built into the highway infrastructure. It's the future of zero highway emissions. The only emissions from these trucks are water.
Hydrogen Highway Ecosystem
The Hyundai hydrogen semi's have a 255 horsepower fuel cell converting hydrogen into electricity. They have a driving range of 250 miles on a tank of hydrogen. To make the hydrogen transportation work, a highway ecosystem of hydrogen fuel stops needs to be built into the infrastructure. In Switzerland, we're seeing the beginning of hydrogen powered big trucks. The emissions are nothing but water. It's a green, clean, zero-emissions way to drive. Experts believe the most powerful, first wave of hydrogen powered vehicles are big trucks. Cars, trains and planes are next.
US Startup Nikola
US hot startup Nikola's proprietary hydrogen/electric trucks have huge orders, to the tune of $10 billion. The company would like to collaborate with Hyundai on hydrogen technologies to accelerate them to global markets. Nicola is putting its electric trucks into production in 2021 and its hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks in 2023. With no products deployed on the streets until 2021, Nikola's technology is highly valued by Wall Street at $15.6 Billion (today). Hyundai has not formally responded to published reports that Nikola's proposal to collaborate is on the table.
What Are the Prospects?
Hydrogen fuel is the holy grail. It is clean, green, efficient, zero emissions and eliminates the hours needed to recharge a huge battery for an electric truck or time to recharge an electric car. Hyundai would like to sell its hydrogen systems to other automakers. But Nikola is becoming a direct competitor for Hyundai's commercial truck business. So, time will tell about such a global collaboration. In the meantime, Hyundai has partnered with Audi on hydrogen vehicle technology And Hyundai and Toyota are the leading global automakers pushing the development and deployment of hydrogen technologies. Hydrogen is a big part of the future of travel.