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Special Hyundai day shows off advances in hydrogen power

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A special day to introduce Hyundai hydrogen powered trucks drew a keen crowd to P&B Group in Hamilton recently.

As the registered Hyundai dealer in Waikato P&B Group brought together an impressive line-up of trucks for this launch to the many transport agencies throughout the region.

The cold and fog didn’t dent the enthusiasm of those who wanted to know more about what Hyundai New Zealand has on offer.

One keen man had left Waikato late the night before, got home to Hawke’s Bay, then realised the show was on, so turned round and came back.

P&B Group business development manager, Ian McDonald welcomed him back and led him straight to the barbecue for a sausage and a hot cup of coffee… a dead set customer for a new truck, one would reckon.

Star of the show was the power unit of what would become a 40-ton (fully laden) hydrogen powered Hyundai truck and trailer.

Hyundai Truck & Bus had exposed the under-deck workings and carefully explained how the five hydrogen gas cylinders stacked up behind the cab allowing a flow of hydrogen down through a series of battery plates, converting to electricity to drive the truck.

“Hyundai has been developing the use of hydrogen for about 20 years,” said Grant Doull (National Manager – Hydrogen & Eco Commercial Vehicles). “But even now only three countries are using this as a power source…Korea, Switzerland and New Zealand.

“This is very new for New Zealand even though P&B, in keeping up with future technology has been discussing the capabilities of hydrogen with Hyundai for some years,” said Ian.

“Nationally hydrogen should be a very serious power source for many types of commercial vehicles,” he said. “Take, for example, forklifts or any lifting devices used in warehousing. At present these come either battery or diesel powered.

“A strong case for using hydrogen would be that batteries run out of puff and diesel pollutes.”

Ian said that the Hyundai production quality is outstanding across a broad range of vehicles including refrigerated, tipper and furniture removal units.

“Hyundai records a high market standard against manufacturers from across Europe, the USA and China, with a very competitive price range.

“At the moment we can only sell diesel. Mid-23 electric trucks will come on-line and soon after hydrogen trucks will hit the market.”

Ralph Blackburn (CEO – P&B Group) congratulated Paul & Brenda Muldoon on achieving 25 years in business. A huge milestone with P&B Group growing to include not only the original P&B Auto Electrical business, but now encompasses P & B Mechanical which services & repairs light & heavy vehicles, and the P & B 4×4 Centre which sells & installs 4×4 parts & accessories. David Chubb (P & B Auto Electrical – Manager) presented Paul & Brenda with a plaque to recognise their 25 year milestone.

Photos by Alex Bulloch

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