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Retailers get hydrogen power boost as Hyundai brings new trucks to Switzerland

Hyundai has shipped its first 10 hydrogen fuel cell trucks to Switzerland, where they will be leased to commercial operators including supermarket chains.

According to Hyundai, the XCIENT Fuel Cell is the first hydrogen-powered heavy duty vehicle. It has a range of 400km on a full fuel tank.

The vehicles will be leased on a pay-per-use basis to companies by Swiss hydrogen consortium H2 Energy, with supermarket chain Migros expected to be one of the users.

Switzerland was chosen first because it offers road tax exemptions to emission-free vehicles, making the vehicles as cost-effective as diesel trucks. Hyundai plans to roll out 50 of the trucks this year and 1,600 units by 2025, with other European countries to follow Switzerland.

Hydrogen can deliver greater power than electric vehicles. However, it is energy-intensive to extract the element from water via electrolysis, meaning emission benefits are limited unless the process is powered by renewable energy.

“XCIENT Fuel Cell is a present-day reality, not as a mere future drawing board project,” said Cheol Lee, executive vice president and head of commercial vehicle division at Hyundai Motor.

“By putting this ground-breaking vehicle on the road now, Hyundai marks a significant milestone in the history of commercial vehicles and the development of hydrogen society. Building a comprehensive hydrogen ecosystem, where critical transportation needs are met by vehicles like XCIENT Fuel Cell, will lead to a paradigm shift that removes automobile emissions from the environmental equation.”

This week also saw Ford launch a new telematics solution to provide fleet managers with visibility of their vehicles’ data.

The integration with Geotab will allow data from Ford vehicles to be securely transferred to Geotab’s cloud environment, where fleet operators can use it to analyse their fleet performance.

The platform also allows fleet operators to use functionality such as managing maintenance, fuel tracking and electric vehicle battery charge state and condition.

Dave Phatak, the Director of Ford Commercial Solutions Europe, said: “Ford Data Services is committed to the ‘Power of Choice’, ensuring our customers continue to get manufacturer-grade vehicle information from the telematics provider of their choice, regardless of where they may be.

“Through this integration with Geotab, our hope is that customers across Europe will be even better equipped to deliver best-of-breed fleet management, spurring further innovation and driving down costs.”

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