Throwback Thursday Story: Swiss Milestone as 20 Hyundai Xcient Hydrogen Trucks Cover 5 Million Kilometers in Two Years

By December 7, 2023 4   min read  (700 words)

December 7, 2023 |

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20 Hyundai Xcient hydrogen trucks have covered 5 million kilometers there in two years. That was celebrated with an event in Olten.

Bell Food, von Bergen, Camion Transport, Coop, Chr. Cavegn, Denner, Emmi, Galliker, G. Leclerc, Havi, McDonald’s, Mewa, Migros, Murpf, Nestlé, Swiss Post, Rivella/Schöni, Schwab-Guillod, SPAR, VOLG and Gebrüder Weiss: that’s how long the list of (own ) carriers who drive the 36-ton Hyundai XCient FuelCell, a nice cross-section of the Swiss retail and logistics industry.

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The companies were all in Olten last weekend to drive the 5 millionth kilometer together with their Xcient FuelCell. Jörg Ackermann, President of the Association pro H2 mobility Switzerland: “Over the past two years and more, we have been working with numerous partners and visionaries at the pace of a start-up to prepare this project and also put it into practice. bring. The 5 million kilometers that have already been driven show that it works. We see this milestone in the history of mobility as the perfect time to further develop the H2 ecosystem. However, the ‘interim result’ also shows Switzerland’s unique starting position. For this, the boundaries between industries and individual companies must be removed. They have understood that such a mobility system can only be built in a network. Our credo is: ‘It happens because we do it! All the more reason for me to admire everyone involved for their courage and commitment to embark on this path.”

The millions of kilometers were covered with the Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell. However, visitors to the H2 Trucker Meeting were also able to view the next generation of this hydrogen truck, with a 4×2 configuration in addition to a 6×2.

Behind the five million kilometers and more than 4,000 tons of CO2 saved is an innovative ecosystem that has been built up in Switzerland itself in recent years: by H2 Energy as a system innovator, by Hydrospider AG as a producer and distributor of green hydrogen, by Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility AG as importer and operator of the hydrogen trucks, and by the Association pro H2 mobility Switzerland. The latter unites 21 well-known Swiss companies, which together with Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility and Hydrospider have solved and solved the chicken-and-egg problem, with today eleven public hydrogen filling stations in Switzerland (AVIA, Coop Pronto, AGROLA and Schwab-Guillod) and 14 leading retail, logistics and transport companies.

The basis for low-emission electromobility with fuel cell vehicles is green hydrogen, such as is currently produced in Switzerland by Hydrospider AG at the river power plant in Niedergösgen. Hydrogen production started simultaneously with the commissioning of the first electric hydrogen trucks two years ago. Hydrospider transports the hydrogen by means of high-pressure containers to the current eleven hydrogen filling stations in Switzerland.

Nicolas Crettenand, CEO of Hydrospider AG: “Green hydrogen will play an indispensable role in the energy transition and decarbonisation. Hydrogen can replace the fossil fuels that are now mainly used, especially in heavy transport. We are very happy with these 5 million kilometers, but at the same time they have challenged us. The hydrogen-electric trucks drive so much and so reliably that we need to expand production as quickly as possible and thus create the conditions for further growth on the production side.”

The second production facility in Switzerland will be commissioned by SAK (St. Gallisch-Appenzellian Kraftwerke) and Osterwalder St. Gallen (AVIA) before the end of the year. With this installation, an important goal of the eco-cycle is getting closer and closer: the realization of a decentralized production of green hydrogen. This will further reduce the transport distances between production and hydrogen filling stations.

Patrick Huber, VRP of H2 Energy Holding AG: “The Swiss hydrogen ecosystem and this joint achievement of all players is attracting worldwide attention. The agreement reached with the companies in the supporting association H2 Mobility Switzerland is unique and a typical Swiss success story. In the European and global context, this model is seen as proof that the hydrogen cycle can be applied in practice. This has a significant impact on the immense investments currently being made in Europe and worldwide for the production of green hydrogen and the development of H2 ecosystems.

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