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Hyundai launches 'NorCAL ZERO' H2 Class 8 trucking project in California

Hyundai Motor Company recently announced the official launch of 'NorCAL ZERO' Project, an initiative involving the company's hydrogen fuel cell technology to bring zero-emission freight transportation to the San Francisco Bay Area and California's Central Valley in the United States. 

As part of the project, also known as 'Zero-Emission Regional Truck Operations with Fuel Cell Electric Trucks', the company deployed about 30 Class 8 'XCIENT' Fuel Cell trucks in commercial operation since last year, marking the "single largest commercial deployment" of Class 8 hydrogen trucks in the country. 

"The NorCAL ZERO Project in Oakland marks a significant step forward in realizing Hyundai's vision for a global hydrogen society," said Ken Ramirez, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Commercial Vehicle & Hydrogen Business at Hyundai Motor Company. "The project demonstrates how the transport energy transition is achievable today and will serve as one of the building blocks for Hyundai's port decarbonization initiatives worldwide". 

The Korean automakers hasbeen collaborating with key partners to build a comprehensive hydrogen mobility ecosystem across North America, ensuring the successful deployment and operation of its hydrogen-powered trucks. 

Last year, Hyundai Motor supplied 30 units of XCIENT Fuel Cell electric truck to G.E.T Freight Corp, a truck-based freight transport business of GLOVIS America. Leveraging its logistics network and capabilities, the commercial operation has been ongoing since last year, hauling containers from the Port of Oakland and transporting vehicles from the Port of Richmond. 

The trucks are fueled at FirstElement Fuel's recently built hydrogen refueling station, which is designed to fuel up to 200 heavy-duty trucks per day. Through collaboration with its drayage consortium partners, Hyundai is accelerating the transition to a more sustainable transportation future in North America, with its hydrogen ecosystem playing a key role.

Dan Raudebaugh, Executive Director of Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) - one of the project partners - commented, "The deployment of these trucks in Northern California provides a groundbreaking opportunity to demonstrate the exceptional performance of fuel cell electric trucks for an industry that has traditionally relied on conventional diesel and CNG-powered vehicles. 

CTE projects that the NorCAL ZERO fleet has the potential to make a substantial positive impact on air quality in the region with an estimated reduction of over 24,000 metric tons of carbon emissions compared to diesel-powered vehicles.

Hyundai XCIENT range of fuel cell electric truck is claimed as the world's first mass-produced, heavy-duty truck powered by hydrogen. The truck is already deployed in eight countries, including U.S., Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Korea, Israel and Saudi Arabia, according to the manufacturer. 


GM fuel cell pilot program targets hydrogen-based worksite ecosystem 

GM's latest fuel cell-related project is a hydrogen-based worksite ecosystem, centered around its fleet of medium duty fuel cell trucks and a hydrogen microgrid for fueling infrastructure.
Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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