Hyundai Motor Commissions Commercial Fleet of XCIENT Fuel Cell Electric Trucks in California with $3.5 Million EPA

Hyundai Motor has secured $3.5 million in 2021 Targeted Airshed Grant (TAG) funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deploy five XCIENT fuel cell electric trucks in California.

The XCIENT Fuel Cell 6×4 tractor model participating in the demonstration is equipped with a 180 kW fuel cell system and an electric motor with a maximum power of 350 kW. The tractor’s hydrogen tank can hold 67kg of hydrogen with the battery supplying 72kWh for a combined gross weight of 37,200kg to deliver an average range of over 450 miles per tank.

First Element Fuel (FEF), the largest operator of hydrogen fueling stations in the United States, will deploy the Class 8 heavy-duty trucks to deliver liquefied hydrogen to their fueling stations over the next five years, including one year of demonstration with US EPA reporting duties and four years of commercial operation.

This project is led by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD), which applied for TAG funding.

The EPA’s TAG program aims to reduce air pollution in areas of the country with the highest levels of ambient ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) Pollution. The objective of the TAG program is to provide financial assistance to projects that: 1) directly reduce emissions from priority emission sources; 2) generate measurable reductions in ozone, PM2.5, and/or precursor emissions; and 3) support the achievement of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in one or more of the country’s most impacted airsheds.

Under the TAG program, eligible state and local air pollution control agencies must apply directly to EPA, but may select partners for a project consortium. For the 2021 TAG program, Hyundai Motor has partnered with South Coast AQMD and FEF to develop a TAG app to support the replacement of FEF’s diesel-powered hydrogen haul trucks with fuel cell electric vehicles.

After being selected as the truck supplier for this TAG project, Hyundai Motor plans to demonstrate its fuel cell electric heavy-duty truck technology in a long-haul haul operation.

Last year, Hyundai Motor also announced its NorCal Zero project, also known as Zero-Emission Regional Truck Operations with Fuel Cell Electric Trucks. (Previous article.) Hyundai Motor will begin operating 30 XCIENT Class 8 fuel cell electric trucks in California starting in the second quarter of 2023. This will be the largest commercial deployment of hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks in class 8 in the United States.

Launched in 2020 by Hyundai Motor, XCIENT Fuel Cell is the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric heavy-duty truck. The company has already deployed 47 units in Switzerland where they have accumulated more than four million driving kilometers by July 2022.

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