VODÍK

Hydrogen is Ideal

for Emissionless Haulage

The South Korean automotive company, Hyundai, is among the world’s leader in hydrogen

technologies and their applications in transportation. Other than the NEXO, which is available on

the Czech market, the company also offers solutions for other branches of transportation, such

as freight or bus transport. “Hydrogen fuel cells have certain undeniable advantages in haulage,”

Marek Trešl, Marketing and Product Director at Hyundai Motor Czech, said.

In the near future, do you think vehicles

are more likely to be powered by batteries

or by hydrogen?

When it comes to personal vehicles

like cars, most of us will likely be driving

electric vehicles powered by batteries. On

the other hand, when it comes to utility

vehicles, buses, and other transportation

and machinery, I am convinced that

hydrogen will take over. I believe this to be

the case because hydrogen offers certain

advantages when used in utility vehicles

that see long term intensive usage.

When taking into

account current hydrogen

prices and the average

consumption of 8 kilograms

per 100 kilometers, operating

a hydrogen truck would prove

more costly than a diesel

truck. All of this is to say

that sustainably replacing

diesel trucks with hydrogen

powered ones would require

subsidies not only for

the purchase of the truck,

but also for its fuel.

What industrial fields will make use

of hydrogen?

Many different branches of industry are

beginning to make use of hydrogen.

Other than the aforementioned logistics

and public transport, energetics is a field

that is bound to sway towards hydrogen.

Hyundai has already deployed

a fleet of XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks

in Switzerland. What are the

developments with this project?

Since the project's launch in 2020, the fleet

has expanded to include 50 completely

emissionless cargo trucks that have now

62 ǀ POSITIV HYDROGEN

reached a collective mileage of 7 million

kilometers. The entire project is designed

to be an enclosed cycle that produces

green hydrogen through energy from

hydroelectric power plants. This hydrogen

is then used in favor of Swiss customers,

which are most commonly retail chains, or

the logistics companies that work with those

chains, allowing them to distribute their

goods without emissions, with lower noise

pollution and at a competitive price.

Is Hyundai the only company behind this

Swiss project?

Hyundai is the central operator of

the project, however, multiple companies

from various fields are collaborating in order

to make it what it is. These collaborating

companies include a local producer

of green hydrogen from renewable

sources, a company that provides vehicle

maintenance, a tire producer, an insurance

company, and others.

Is it realistic to expect something similar

to come to the Czech Republic?

It would probably take quite a while,

as realizing a similar model here would

prove very financially taxing. Due to

the uniqueness of the hydrogen fuel

cell technology, the price of a hydrogen

vehicle is several times larger than

a regular diesel truck, which means that

without a substantial subsidy, this would

prove too much of a financial burden

to service providers and operators. In

addition, fueling the truck would also

prove to be more expensive. When

taking into account current hydrogen

prices and the average consumption of

8 kilograms per 100 kilometers, operating

a hydrogen truck would prove more costly

than a diesel truck. All of this is to say that

sustainably replacing diesel trucks with

hydrogen powered ones would require

subsidies not only for the purchase of the

truck, but also for its fuel.

How come this project worked in

Switzerland then?

What I said about price comparisons

between the two types of trucks reigns

true in Switzerland as well, however, they

have also successfully implemented a tax

for transport vehicles running on fossil

fuels. The operators of these vehicles have

to pay a certain added tax amount per

ton-kilometer, while vehicles powered by

green hydrogen are completely exempt