February 18, 2020

Hyundai unveils fuel cell LCV concept

Fuel cell pioneers Hyundai Motor unveiled a zero-emissions fuel cell concept commercial vehicle at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover last month.

Hyundai said its H350 concept vehicle shows the potential for its hydrogen fuel cell technology in the light commercial vehicle segment. The technology is currently used in Hyundai’s ix35 fuel cell car.

Unlike a conventional electric vehicle, which requires a number of hours to recharge, the 175-litre hydrogen tank can be filled in less than four minutes – similar to the time it takes to refill a tank of diesel in a vehicle with a conventional diesel engine. The H350 has a total range of 260 miles, and emits only water.

The powertrain is packaged in such a way that its installation has no impact on the H350’s load area. Depending on wheelbase, it provides 10.5m3 or 12.9m3 space – sufficient to accommodate five standard European pallets – or room for a 14-seat passenger compartment.

The fuel cell driveline is almost silent in operation, contributing to a reduction in noise pollution and making it especially suitable for night deliveries in urban areas.

With the powertrain capable of producing up to 100kW (136ps), the H350 can reach speeds of up to 95mph – similar performance to LCVs powered by an equivalent internal combustion engine.

The H350’s powertrain is formed of a hydrogen tank, fuel cell stack, high-voltage battery pack, inverter, and electric motor. The 700-bar high-pressure hydrogen tanks, located under the floor of the vehicle between the two axles, store 7.05kg of compressed hydrogen, which is then broken down into protons and electrons in the fuel cell stack. The electricity produced by the fuel stack is then stored in a compact 24kW lithium-polymer battery pack, with the inverter converting the energy to an alternating current to power the 100kW electric motor.

Hyundai Motor is a world-leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology, opening the world’s first mass production facility for fuel cell vehicles in February 2013. The company says its fuel cell powertrain represents “a truly viable form of propulsion for everyday vehicles, from passenger cars to LCVs”.