- Commercial vehicles with fuel cells at Auto AG Truck
Rothenburg–Recently 10 hydrogen trucks destined for the Swiss market arrived on the Auto AG Truck site. The Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell is the world’s first series of heavy-duty trucks with fuel cell drive.
The 19-ton vehicles are intended for major Swiss customers; Auto AG Truck will handle the preparation, delivery, and maintenance of these Hyundai hydrogen trucks. To this end, specialists were trained in the company and the workshops and infrastructure were adapted.
Rothenburg has been looking forward to this moment for a long time because the first discussions with H2 Energy took place in spring 2019. The cooperation with the newly founded company Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility AG provides that Auto AG Truck will take over the maintenance for all hydrogen trucks sold in Switzerland. With this model, commercial vehicles are made available to interested companies for a flat-rate usage fee per kilometer driven (pay-per-use). The package includes fuel, maintenance, and insurance.
Well equipped for all future drive technologies
Jörg Merz, Operations Manager Auto AG Truck in Rothenburg, looks forward to the starting shot after the very intensive preparations: “In the Auto AG Truck workshops, we can guarantee the maintenance of vehicles with a wide variety of drive variants and we want to be prepared for all future technologies.” In close cooperation with Hyundai and hydrogen experts, mechanics have been trained and retrained, special tools have been procured, high-voltage platforms set up, and work processes completely redefined in recent months. Auto AG Truck specialists traveled to Korea and Hyundai engineers are on-site in Rothenburg.
Retrofitting the workshop was another challenge. Jörg Merz: “Dealing with the odorless and invisible gas requires adequate infrastructure. We have provided four H2 vehicle spaces on two lanes in our large hall. Sensors are installed on the hall roof which triggers an alarm and appropriate measures at any time as soon as certain limit values are reached would. ” It is also important to sensitize the staff as well as to concentrate, work precisely according to checklists, and to adhere to clearly defined processes.
The Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell is part of a green hydrogen ecosystem. No diesel, no gasoline, but fuel cells with 190 kW, which in conjunction with a 476 HP electric motor allow a range of around 400 km. Refueling with 32 kg of hydrogen – generated by Swiss river power plants – takes about 15 to 20 minutes. With environmentally friendly, CO2-free technology, operators also do not have to pay the heavy vehicle charge. The zero-emission solution for road transport is now no longer wishful thinking, but a concrete reality.