NZ Post has purchased the first of Hyundai New Zealand’s five XCIENT hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric trucks. The Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell truck was officially unveiled in its working livery by NZ Post at an event held at their Auckland Operations Center and attended by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods.
The New Zealand Government Emissions Reduction Plan includes a target to cut emissions from freight transport by 35% by 2035. Heavy transport makes up 4% of New Zealand’s transport fleet but is responsible for 25% of all transport emissions.
The XCIENT fuel cell truck will take over from one of its emission-heavy diesel counterparts, saving 1701 tonnes of CO2 per year from being emitted and displacing approximately 100 passenger cars emissions based on typical annual mileage.
High capacity hydrogen refueling stations are on their way, such as Hiringa Energy’s four North Island stations coming online in early 2023. Until these first commercial refuelling stations are built, the truck will be fuelled using green hydrogen supplied by BOC.
Vesna Olles, Director Clean Energy Business Development and Strategy at BOC South Pacific said New Zealand’s first hydrogen truck was a significant milestone that would pave the way for decarbonisation of the heavy vehicle industry.
NZ Post’s Hyundai XCIENT Fuell Cell truck will now undergo a validation process. This includes operating the truck in different configurations, first as a truck only, then as a truck and trailer combination on several routes, gaining New Zealand specific performance information to refine software settings and define the best-operating routes for this technology.
Once the commercial infrastructure is in place next year, this truck's ideal first operational route is likely to be Auckland – Hamilton – Auckland – Whangarei.