Features
19 Dec 18

Hyundai goes all out for hydrogen

Hyundai Motor Group has announced a $6.7 billion investment in hydrogen technology by 2030. The investment will see the company produce 500,000 fuel-cell cars under the Hyundai and Kia brands.

The company is also planning to produce 200,000 commercial vehicles each year, including drones, vessels, rolling stocks and forklifts.

The South Korean carmaker’s FCEV Vision 2030 plan includes the opening of a second hydrogen fuel-cell factory in Chungju, South Korea. The factory will be operated by Hyundai Mobis Co., Hyundai’s fuell-cell system manufacturing affiliate.

Nexo

At this moment, Hyundai claims it is the only company to establish a dedicated plant for commercial production of fuel cell systems.

The investment, which is expected to create around 51,000 jobs by 2030, is done as Hyundai anticipates global demand for FCEVs to hit 2 million units a year in the same timeframe.

Earlier this year, Hyundai launched Nexo, its second-generation commercialised FCEV which built on the Tucson FCEV introduced in 2013.

Clean energy

Hyundai’s proprietary fuel cell system combines hydrogen fuel with oxygen taken from the air to produce electricity. Without combustion, the system only emits water as a by-product whilst also purifying polluted air, making it the ultimate source of clean energy.

So far, hydrogen has struggled to find wide market acceptance as there aren’t many fuelling stations available. Hyundai is convinced this will change.

Global potential

“We are confident that hydrogen power will transcend the transportation sector and become a leading global economic success,” said Euisun Chung, executive vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group.

According to a study by McKinsey & Company, hydrogen has the potential to reduce the comprehensive ownership costs by about 10% for all possible transportation means. The study also estimates that approximately 5.5 million to 6.5 million fuel cell system units will be required by 2030 globally.

Image: Hyundai headquarters, Seoul, South Korea

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck