Hyundai Bets of Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Systems, Plans to Be Leader in the Segment

Hyundai Nexo 1 photo
Photo: Hyundai
As the world is frantically looking for alternatives to fossil fuels to power its machines, most of the carmakers are betting on lithium-ion batteries as the breakthrough technology. Despite some of the carmakers toying with the idea of hydrogen fuel-cell systems, none except Hyundai have truly commited to this technology.
The South Korean company, which comprises both Hyundai and Kia, is already the only car group in the world to have built a plant dedicated to the production of production of fuel cell systems.

This week, as part of the FCEV Vision 2030 plan meant to cement its dominance in this industry, Hyundai announced it is building, through Hyundai Mobis Co. a second fuel-cell system plant in Chungju, South Korea.

Mobis currently produces only 3,000 fuel-cell systems per year, but with the addition of the new facility the output will increase to 40,000 units by 2022. And that’s only the beginning. By 2030, the final year of the Hyundai plan, the annual capacity is expected to grow to a staggering 700,000 units.

Hyundai’s confidence in this alternative power source is based on predictions that demand for such systems will grow to a total of 2 million units. The growth is to be fueled by the expansion of the technology well beyond cars, to drones, vessels, rolling stocks, and forklifts.

“We will expand our role beyond the automotive transportation sector and play a pivotal role in global society’s transition to clean energy by helping make hydrogen an economically viable energy source,” said in a statement Euisun Chung, Hyundai Group vice chairman.

“We are confident that hydrogen power will transcend the transportation sector and become a leading global economic success.”

Hyundai’s fuel-cell system creates hydrogen from a tank with oxygen taken from the air to generate electricity. The only by-product of such a process, as seen in the Hyundai NEXO launched earlier this year, is water.

For its car-making business, Hyundai plans to expand the offering of fuel-cell cars in the coming years.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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