NZ Post’s new zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell-powered truck is now being used for parcel freight operations between Auckland and Hamilton to assess its performance on New Zealand roads and conditions.
Experts from NZ Post and Hyundai Motors New Zealand evaluating the performance of the vehicle – a Hyundai XCIENT FCEV – are thrilled with the results in both open road and urban routes. They hope it will pave the way for uptake of this new technology in the sector as key to reducing carbon emissions. Based on typical heavy vehicle mileage, one fuel cell EV truck in operation avoids the equivalent CO2 of around 112 fossil fuel light vehicles.
The truck has been clocking between 350-400km a day, at an optimal cruising speed of 85-88km/h, maintaining the same point to point schedule time.
“The testing is to evaluate the vehicle’s suitability for our freight and the routes we serve,” said Ryan Beale, NZ Post’s national road operations manager, who has been overseeing the trial. “Within current constraints, refueling is taking place in Auckland while we await further network development.”
Additional government-funded hydrogen refueling sites are due to open in coming months, enabling refueling in 15 minutes with state-of-the-art technology. These sites will open up longer routes and 24/7 operation.
Grant Doull, national manager hydrogen and eco commercial vehicles at Hyundai Motors New Zealand, said that New Zealand is the second country in the world to adopt this technology in a commercial setting. The other is Switzerland, where 50 such trucks in commercial use.
“This project has been two years in the making. This truck is ideal for NZ Post as a transporter of high volume, lower weight freight,” Doull commented. “Evidence and performance data gathered in the trial will be of value to everybody in transport sector.”
The next stage is to use the truck in more urban settings for deliveries. This will enable more customers and the public to see it.