SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor agreed to set up a joint venture with Swiss hydrogen company H2 Energy and provide 1,600 fuel-cell electric trucks for seven years by 2025, making its inroad into Europe with hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles.
In a ceremony attended by Hyundai Motor' commercial vehicle division head Lee In-cheol and H2E chairman Rolf Huber in Seoul on Monday, the two companies agreed to set up the joint venture named "Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility."
Seven Swiss companies including gas stations and grocery store chains have formed a hydrogen energy association. H2E will lease out 1,600 Hyundai fuel cell trucks by 2025. Hyundai will modify its Xcient heavy-duty trucks that can deliver a travel range of about 400 kilometers (248 miles) on a single charge.
Hyundai said it will target Europe's eco-friendly commercial vehicle markets with hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles through the joint venture and expand its presence in other regions. "With the establishment of the joint venture, Hyundai Motor hopes its large hydrogen electric truck will successfully enter the European market starting with Switzerland," Lee was quoted as saying.
Hyundai leads a government campaign to replace combustion engines of trucks and construction equipment gradually with hydrogen fuel cells and electric batteries. South Korea has unveiled a roadmap to secure its firm leadership in the global market by producing 6.2 million fuel cell vehicles by 2040. Because of its eco-friendly characteristics, fuel cells are considered the next-generation renewable power source.
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