Hyundai bets big on hydrogen fuel cell tech

Hyundai says it will introduce a new FCEV in the passenger vehicle space in 2023 and a large FCEV SUV in 2025.

By:September 8, 2021 10:55 AM


Hyundai Motor Group has rolled out plans to become a major hydrogen energy player by 2040, providing hydrogen-based mobility solutions for automotive and industrial sectors and launching a range of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). At the Hydrogen Wave global online forum held on Tuesday, the South Korean automaker said that by 2028, all its new commercial vehicles (CVs) will run either on batteries or fuel cells. It’s the first automaker to have announced such a goal for CVs.

Hyundai said it aims to apply fuel cell systems to all types of mobility and will further the technology to all other aspects of society, including homes, buildings and power plants as energy solutions. Chairman Euisun Chung said the company’s goal is to introduce a wide range of hydrogen-based mobility solutions by 2040. “This will include passenger cars, special vehicles, trains, trams, ships and urban air mobility,” he said. “We also want to expand the use of hydrogen fuel cells in different areas, including robots and eco-friendly generators.”

Hyundai started working on FCEV technology in 1998. In 2013, it launched the Tucson FCEV, followed by the Nexo FCEV in 2018, both in the passenger vehicle space. In the CV space, 45 units of its Xcient fuel cell trucks are being operated by transporters in Switzerland, which Hyundai engineers are closely monitoring. In 2024, the automaker will launch a fuel cell tractor based on the Xcient.

Hyundai also said it will introduce a new FCEV in the passenger vehicle space in 2023 and a large FCEV SUV in 2025. Chairman Chung said the transition towards a clean energy world can’t be seen in silos, and that’s why the company has plans to provide its fuel cell solutions to the energy sector, including electricity and heating for buildings, urban energy sources and power plants.

“Both battery and fuel-cell technologies and products are needed to make the transition to zero-emission mobility,” he said. “Fighting climate change and shifting to renewable energy will not be complete without hydrogen. The goal is to make hydrogen readily used for everyone, everything and everywhere; we aim to help foster a worldwide Hydrogen Society by 2040.”

According to the Hydrogen Council, a global CEO-led initiative of leading energy, transport, industry and investment companies, hydrogen energy will account for 18% of global energy demand by 2050, with a market size of $2.5 trillion. The popularisation of hydrogen energy will also help cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than six billion tonnes a year, while creating over 30 million new jobs.

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