Xcient FCEV is Hyundai's answer to making big rigs go emissions-free

The future of commercial vehicle propulsion may soon come in the form of hydrogen fuel cell technology. While other brands are looking towards battery electric power to propel the next-generation of trucks, Hyundai thinks that hydrogen fuel cell is the right way to go.

This is the Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell Truck (FCEV), and it is set to make its official debut next week on October 14 in Korea. Billed by the company as the world's first mass-produced fuel cell electric heavy-duty truck, the Xcient FCEV promotes zero-emissions, shorter refueling times, and long-distance hauling without having to use a single drop of diesel.

Instead of using fossils to fuel the truck, the Xcient has seven equally-sized tanks that store hydrogen. On a full load of H2, Hyundai claims the Xcient FCEV can travel 400 km (with a full trailer in tow) and can hit a top speed of 85 km/h. Hyundai has yet to state how much payload it can carry, but with its electric motor rated to crank out 475 PS and 2,237 Nm of torque, we won't be surprised if it can lug heavy cargo with ease.

Should the hydrogen tanks be nearing empty, Hyundai says that refueling the Xcient FCEV can be done in as little as in 8 to 20 minutes. That means lesser downtimes, while still being able to haul plenty of cargo like a diesel-powered truck.

Despite the official launch set to happen next week, Hyundai has already shipped several Xcient FCEV trucks to customers in Switzerland. This is part of the company's plan to roll out a total of 1,6000 fuel cell electric commercial vehicles by 2025. With it, Hyundai is committed to cleaner mobility and a vision for a hydrogen-powered society.

As electrification continues to be introduced in vehicles and commercial trucks, Hyundai's plan to go hydrogen may be what the commercial segment needs to replace diesel fuel. Not only is it better for the environment, but it can also generate loads of torque for the electric motor to get cargo moving.