The South Korean automaker is bringing hydrogen to haulage.
It's easy to forget haulage trucks are part of the equation when it comes to the impact of transportation on the environment. Battery-powered haulage trucks are a long way away, but hydrogen fuel-cell technology could be the answer for haulage companies. Hyundai is already well invested in hydrogen fuel-cell technology and has the Nexo to show for it. This latest concept takes things straight up a few extra levels.
The automaker has officially revealed its idea of how the future will look at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) show in Atlanta by presenting the Hyundai HDC-6 Neptune. By presenting the tractor-trailer combination, Hyundai is also announcing its intent to explore opportunities in the US's commercial vehicle market. Hyundai also said it is willing to take on partners to pave the way to establishing a hydrogen ecosystem for commercial vehicles.
The Hyundai HDC-6 Neptune is a bold statement. Stylistically, it's sleek and futuristic without going over the top. At the same time, the design harks back to the beginning of the 20th century with a nod to art deco industrial design and the sense of optimistic wonder it brought at the time. At its roots though, Hyundai claims the HDC-6 NEPTUNE is a function-driven design.
"The fuel cell powertrain gave us the opportunity to redefine the classical typology and architecture of the truck," said Luc Donckerwolke, Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group. "The Hyundai Commercial Vehicles Design Team started with a white sheet of paper focusing on the new defined functionality resetting all standards in order to project commercial vehicles in the future."
A clean sheet of paper design doesn't mean a lack of restriction, though. The colossal wraparound grille is functional due to the amount of airflow required to keep the propulsion system cool. Hyundai has used it well though, and even integrated hidden steps into the design.
The trailer is also a concept designed to tackle the issue of keeping goods cool during transit. The HT Nitro ThermoTech concept uses a one-piece, structural sandwich foam panel with Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) skins. That means it is light, strong, and enhances thermal efficiency. According to Hyundai, the concept trailer is not affected by outside temperatures, is incredibly quiet, and maximum power is always available, even when the truck's engine is off or idling.