Hyundai Motor has secured $3.5 million in 2021 Targeted Airshed Grant (TAG) funding from the US 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 e-motor with a maximum output of 350 kW. The tractor’s hydrogen tank can hold 67 kg of hydrogen with the battery providing 72 kWh for a gross combined weight of 37,200 kg to deliver an average range of more than 450 miles per tank.
First Element Fuel (FEF), the largest hydrogen-refueling station operator in the US, will deploy the Class-8 heavy-duty trucks to deliver liquified hydrogen to their refueling stations for the next five years, including one year of demonstration with reporting duties to US EPA and four years of commercial operation.
This project is led by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD), which applied for the TAG funding.
EPA’s TAG program aims to reduce air pollution in areas of the nation with the highest levels of ambient ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution. The focus of the TAG program is to provide funding assistance to projects that: 1) directly reduce emissions from priority emission sources; 2) generate measurable reductions of ozone, PM2.5, and/or precursor emissions; and 3) support National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) attainment in one or more of the nation’s most impacted airsheds.
Under the TAG program, eligible state and local air pollution control agencies must directly apply to EPA, but can select partners for a project consortium. For the 2021 TAG program, Hyundai Motor partnered with South Coast AQMD and FEF to develop a TAG application to support the replacement of FEF’s diesel-powered hydrogen transport trucks with fuel cell electric vehicles.
Having been selected as the truck supplier for this TAG project, Hyundai Motor expects to demonstrate its fuel cell electric heavy-duty truck technology in a long-haul transport operation.
Last year, Hyundai Motor also announced its NorCal Zero project, also known as Zero-Emission Regional Truck Operations with Fuel Cell Electric Trucks. (Earlier post.) Hyundai Motor will begin operating 30 Class 8 XCIENT Fuel Cell electric trucks in California starting in the second quarter of 2023. This will be the largest commercial deployment of Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks in the US.
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 kilometers in driving as of July 2022.