Hyundai Leads U.S. Zero-Emission Freight: NorCAL ZERO Launch

Hyundai Motor Launches NorCAL ZERO Project for Zero-Emission Freight Transportation in California Today, Hyundai Motor Company celebrated the official launch of the NorCAL ZERO Project, a significant initiative utilizing its hydrogen fuel cell technology to introduce zero-emission freight transportation to California’s San Francisco Bay Area and Central Valley.

The dedication event, held at Oakland’s FirstElement Fuel Hydrogen Refueling Station, brought together Hyundai Motor and its project partners, including the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE), GLOVIS America, Inc., East Bay Municipal Utilities District, FirstElement Fuel, Papé, the University of California, the Port of Oakland, the City of Oakland, and the community of West Oakland represented by the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP). Representatives from grant-providing organizations like the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC), the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the California Energy Commission (CEC) were also present.

As part of the NorCAL ZERO Project, Hyundai Motor deployed 30 Class 8 XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks with a 6×4 drive axle configuration in California, marking the largest commercial deployment of such hydrogen-powered trucks in the U.S. These trucks have been in commercial operation since last year.

Ken Ramirez, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Commercial Vehicle & Hydrogen Business at Hyundai Motor Company, stated, “The NorCAL ZERO Project in Oakland marks a significant step forward in realizing Hyundai’s vision for a global hydrogen society.” Hyundai Motor has been collaborating with key partners to establish a comprehensive hydrogen mobility ecosystem across North America.

The trucks are fueled at FirstElement Fuel’s hydrogen refueling station and receive maintenance services from Papé in San Leandro, California. CTE projects that the NorCAL ZERO fleet could reduce over 24,000 metric tons of carbon emissions compared to diesel-powered vehicles, making a substantial positive impact on air quality in the region.

Jim Park, Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial Vehicle and Hydrogen Business Development at Hyundai Motor North America, expressed pride in being part of the largest-ever deployment of Class 8 fuel cell electric trucks in North America, stating that Oakland serves as a blueprint for future deployments in the U.S.

Hyundai Motor’s XCIENT Fuel Cell electric truck, launched in 2020, is the world’s first mass-produced, heavy-duty truck powered by hydrogen. At CES 2024, Hyundai Motor announced the expansion of its HTWO vision, evolving from fuel cell technology to a comprehensive hydrogen value chain vision spanning production, storage, transportation, and utilization.

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