Last week we reported on a teaser that Hyundai sent out about it's upcoming hydrogen truck concept. Today, it's here. Meet the HDC-6 Neptune, a Class-8 semi-truck that runs on hydrogen fuel cells. Hyundai says that fuel cells are a better fit for long haul driving than batteries due to the lower refueling time, higher range, and higher payload. The styling of the concept is inspired by the Art Deco designs by Henry Dreyfuss of the New York Central railroad in the 1930s.
The fuel cell powertrain gave Hyundai the opportunity to change the classic layout of a Class-8 truck. They took the technical requirements and found new ways to combine form and function. For example, the massive cooling requirements necessitated a grille that wrapped nearly all the way around the vehicle. Inside the grille are retractable steps up to the cab. The combination of both cab over engine and conventional truck formats gives the Neptune gains in packaging efficiency and ergonomics.
Hyundai plans to work with partners to pave the way for a hydrogen ecosystem specifically for commercial vehicles in the US. In Switzerland, Hyundai is building 1,600 fuel cell heavy-duty trucks with its partner H2 Energy.
In addition to the Neptune, Hyundai introduced a concept refrigerated trailer. The trailer is virtually noiseless compared to typical diesel powered refrigerated trailers. The trailer reduces pollution and emissions. The roof, front wall, and side walls are constructed of one-piece, structural sandwich foam panels with fiber reinforced polymer skins. The trailer is made without posts or roof bows and the entire design is lighter than a typical trailer while also increasing wall strength and enhancing thermal efficiency.