Early glimpses of a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle ecosystem taking shape.

By Shyam Sundar, Industry Analyst – Mobility

As the two front runners for zero emission powertrains, electric and hydrogen powertrains were on full display at CES 2024.  While hydrogen development is still in its infancy and commercial vehicle OEMs and suppliers are conducting closed trials, nevertheless, it seems that hydrogen is finally living up to its initial promise. At CES 2024, there were a raft of hydrogen powered, fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), particularly in the heavy-duty commercial truck segment with companies like Nikola, PACCAR, Bosch Mobility, and Hyundai showcasing their offerings. Meanwhile, electric options in cargo vans and medium duty trucks were noticeable.

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  • On display was Kenworth’s T680 hydrogen FCEV truck which uses next-gen hydrogen fuel cell technology developed in partnership with Toyota Motor Company North America.
  • Peterbilt’s SuperTruck II featured a diesel engine that uses waste heat recovery to achieve a 55% brake thermal efficiency improvement, 48-volt mild hybrid powertrain and improved aerodynamics.
  • PACCAR’s Europe brand DAF’s XD battery EV was also exhibited. It has 325 kW fast charging with a claimed range of 600 miles.


  • Bosch announced that it is developing components for a hydrogen fuel engine that will have equivalent performance to diesel engines. This technology targets heavy-duty transportation applications like long-haul trucking and construction machinery.
  • These engines will be available in both port- and direct-injection versions. Bosch anticipates introducing this new engine technology in Europe later this year.


  • Nikola unveiled a market ready, hydrogen FCEV at CES 2024.
  • The truck has a 70 kilograms of hydrogen capacity with two batteries as back up for range extension.
  • The truck has a purported range of about 500+ miles and targets regional haul transport.

MAN and ABB Mobility

  • MAN and ABB E-mobility entered into a cooperation agreement for technical collaboration on the Megawatt Charging System (MCS).
  • ABB aims to launch the MCS offering by 2025.


  • Kia unveiled its ‘Platform Beyond Vehicle (PBV)’ concept this year with a troika of modular electric vans for commercial purposes.
  • The PV1 is for urban optimized mobility, the PV5 is a people mover and mobile workshop, and the PV7 is a cargo delivery and multi van.
  • Apart from a common modular platform for global markets, these vans can be customized to accommodate varied commercial mobility needs in urban settings.
  • The PV5 is anticipated to be commercially launched in


  • Mullen made its inaugural appearance at CES this year, exhibiting its range of commercial EVs.
  • These included the Bollinger Class 4 chassis cab and box truck with a declared range up to 200 miles and 323 horsepower.
  • Mullen One, a Class 1 EV cargo van with a claimed range of 110 miles and 157 cubic feet cargo space and the Mullen Three, a Class 3 cabover EV adaptable as a box truck or service truck with a projected range of 125 miles were in focus.

Indigo Technologies

  • The Dash Cargo van with 90 cubic feet of cargo space, a 30 kWh battery, and stated range of 143 miles targets small deliveries.
  • The larger Indigo Flow Cargo is expected to have a range of 200+ miles and 185 cubic feet of cargo space, and targets e-commerce deliveries.

To learn more, please access our research reports, Analysis of CAFE Regulations on the Passenger and Commercial Vehicle Aftermarket, Strategic Analysis of WBG Semiconductors in Power Electronics Applications for EVs, Forecast to 2030, Growth Opportunities in European Heavy-duty Electric Trucks, Growth Opportunities in the North American Hydrogen Infrastructure Market for Trucks, or contact sathyanarayanak@frost.com for information on a private briefing.

Our Perspective

From Bosch Mobility’s plans to introduce a hydrogen combustion engine to Nikola’s market ready, hydrogen-powered truck, it seems that hydrogen and fuel cells are finally on track to successful deployment.

However, there are enormous technological and financial challenges that lie ahead. Focused expansion of charging and refuelling infrastructure, improved production and distribution, and enhanced government support will be critical to fast-tracking the creation of an enabling ecosystem. Cross-industry collaboration between fuel cell providers, hydrogen producers and distributors, energy companies, OEMs, and fleets will also be vital.

Today, almost all hydrogen is produced with fossil fuels. Therefore, another challenge will be to boost clean hydrogen production. This is currently an expensive proposition. The need, therefore, is for ramped up public and private investments in green hydrogen with a view to achieving scale and making it more affordable.

For OEMs, a strategy to consider is providing holistic solutions or Truck as a Service (TaaS) that encompass not just truck manufacture but, equally, the services that accompany it, such as fuelling and maintenance.

One of the big stories at CES 2024 was Hyundai’s championing of hydrogen as a pivotal element in its transformation to a carbon-neutral company by 2050. The Korean automaker shared its long-term vision of “an entire hydrogen energy ecosystem” and, more immediately, its desire to step up the pace on commercialization of green hydrogen production technologies.

If such roadmaps are realized, the commercial vehicle space could indeed be transitioning away from fossil fuels faster than expected.

With inputs from Amrita Shetty, Senior Manager, Communications & Content – Mobility

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