Hyundai Motor stated on Wednesday it is going to sell 1,000 hydrogen-powered trucks in Switzerland during the next five years through a new tie-up, betting the vehicles could defeat battery-powered models sold by those such as Tesla Inc.
South Korea’s Hyundai and Japan’s Toyota are one of a handful of automakers doubling down on hydrogen vehicles in middle of an intensifying worldwide race to develop greener technologies to replace combustion engines, as regulators across the world crack down on emissions.
The deal, which will twice Hyundai’s hydrogen vehicle sales, marks its recent push into a technology that has lagged battery electric vehicles. Hyundai, whose profits have tumbled due to a heavy dependence on low-demand sedans, hopes to burnish its brand image by taking the lead in hydrogen vehicles.
On Wednesday, Hyundai stated it will partner with Swiss hydrogen company H2 Energy and fuel cell operators to give 1,000 hydrogen trucks in the country following the launching at the end of 2019 what it states will be the world’s first commercial hydrogen trucks. It did not give any financial details.
The launch dates are ahead of battery-powered trucks Tesla and Daimler prepare to release in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Hyundai declared a partnership with Audi in June to share each other’s hydrogen car technology and parts to bring down production expenses and make the technology profitable.
For long-haul, hydrogen trucks have a great advantage over battery competitors as heavy batteries can decrease cargo capacity and need longer charging times, Mark Freymueller, a commercial vehicle director at Hyundai Motor, informed Reuters. Hyundai stated its hydrogen trucks are anticipated to provide a single-fueling travel range of about 400 kilometers.