GK Receives Certification for Innovative Vehicle Construction

Proud owners of the Hyundai certificate: Division Manager Refrigerated Vehicles Patrick Pfanner, CEO Philippe Köppel and Project Manager H2 Vehicles Boro Jovic.
Nobody can avoid decarbonisation today, as our CEO Philippe Köppel knows. This week we received a certificate for our unique body systems, which were specially designed for Hyundai’s hydrogen truck. But this means that the journey into the post-fossil future of mobility has only just begun.

What has long been proven on the road and under strict testing conditions is now also officially confirmed on paper: GK Grünenfelder is a certified body manufacturer of the Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell Truck. The certificate was presented to us by Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility (HHM), the joint venture between the Swiss company H2 Energy and Hyundai Motor Company. We have already been working as a partner for the body systems of the South Korean car manufacturer’s hydrogen-powered trucks since 2019. “It makes us proud that our setup is an essential part of this technology and has proven itself for customers. We are convinced that no one can avoid decarbonisation today,” says CEO Philippe Köppel. “This makes the efforts of HHM and the other players in the mobility system that much more important.”

“We are already creating the transport solutions of tomorrow”.

It all started in 2019. At that time, GK Grünenfelder developed the first refrigerated box body with refrigeration system for Hyundai, which was then assembled by a GK assembly team for test purposes in Korea. This was followed in spring 2020 by a further build-up on a Xient Fuell Cell Truck for test drives in Switzerland. A few months later, the first series production of ten hydrogen trucks was handed over to various Swiss logistics companies. Meanwhile, 46 of the clean hummers with the GK logo are already rolling along the roads. In total, Hyundai’s hydrogen fleet has covered more than one million kilometres – completely emission-free, of course.

In order to receive certification, the GK truck superstructure systems had to withstand rigorous load tests and the employees were also specially trained to be able to work with the highly fragile hydrogen and high-voltage system of the hydrogen trucks. With the certificate, GK Grünenfelder is authorised to produce both refrigerated trailers for food transport, and dry freight trailers for general cargo transport. Customers can choose from a wide range of configuration options. “There is no general standard in our engineering and production department. That’s why we can react flexibly to all customer requests,” says Köppel. Whether sliding side doors, a rear opening with roller shutters or special cold retention system – the customer decides individually which features their superstructure should have.

But the journey to a decarbonised future has only just begun. GK plans to build its superstructure systems on the facelifted twin-axle and the new triple-axle Hyundai trucks next year. The latter features a higher total weight and thus a greater payload for customers. For Philippe Köppel and his team, one thing is certain: “Standing still is never an option. That’s why we help our customers create the transport solutions of tomorrow, today.”

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