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Hydrogen Vision 2040

Rendering of a modular autonomous truck system, hydrogen powered, consisting of e-Bogies and Trailer drones. Image credit: Hyundai

There are still quite a bit of discussions on the advantage of hydrogen power (when considered throughout the whole value chain, from hydrogen production to distribution and usage) as I pointed out in previous posts. For sure, the first practical use of hydrogen power on the road is going to take place on trucks.

Hyundai has published their 2040 Hydrogen Vision at the Hydrogen Wave Forum: their vision is really broad since they are foreseeing hydrogen “Everyone, Everything and Everywhere” (a bit too ambitious as I see it). Apart from their vision they have also published a roadmap and this is probably the most interesting part:

  • new generation of fuel cell at a 50% cost of the existing ones will be available in 2023 with a capacity of 100kW and 200kW, in a more compact volume (some 30% less) and doubling the output power;
  • use of fuel cell power to all commercial models from 2028 on;
  • target equal cost for FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles)  and BEV (Battery EV) in 2030;
  • from 2030 onwards application of Fuel Cell technology to industry, buildings, homes …

Part of the presentation includes a vision for a modular trucking system composed of e-Bogies and Trailer Drones (see photo with the rendering). The idea is to create fully autonomous trucks that can be configured as needed. The trailer part can be automatically attached to the e-Bogie, in case of heavy loads two e-Bogies can be used, and once the destination (or exchange point) is reached the trailer will automatically offload by using pneumatic legs.

The truck can be joined to other trucks in a platoon formation to decrease drag on long stretches of highways.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the New Initiative Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He is a member of the IEEE in 2050 Ad Hoc Committee. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.