On 17 January 2019, the South Korean government announced its plan to ramp up local annual production of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) to 100,000 by 2025 from the current 2,000 FCEVs as part of its efforts to lead a so-called hydrogen economy. “Our government’s determination is firm toward a hydrogen economy. It is a golden opportunity to fundamentally change our national energy system and foster new growth engine,” said The South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The South Korean government will increase the production FCEVs with a cumulative volume of 6.2 million by 2040 with the expectation that FCEV prices will be halved once the current annual production target it met in 6 years. With the targeted growth of FCEVs, the government plans to set up 310 refueling stations across the country by 2022 from its current 14 hydrogen charging stations and have 1,200 stations by 2040.

On December 11 2018 Hyundai Motor announced its $ 6.7bln FCEV Vision 2030 in which Hyundai affiliate Mobis would produce 40,000 fuel cells per year by 2022, boosting production from its capacity today of 3,000 per annum. By 2030, Hyundai Mobis expects as many as 6.5 million fuel cells to be in use worldwide, a demand which it intends to satisfy with annual production of 700,000 cells, 500,000 of which would power fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) like the Hyundai Nexo, which is slated to launch in California by the end of the year.

Last year in the 2018 IAA Commercial Vehicle show in Hanover Germany, Hyundai announced to build 1,000 commercial fuel cell electric trucks to be operated in Switzerland beginning of 2019. Compared to conventional trucks driving in about 10 kilometers per liter (diesel), hydrogen-powered trucks can drive on 16.5 kilometers per liter of H2 with a driving range of up to 400 km.  The 1,000 trucks can potentially save up to 250 tonnes of CO2 per kilometer by 2030, for a medium-duty truck of 7,000 kg. The delivery of the first trucks will be at the end of 2019 and the total order of 1,000 trucks will be completed by 2023.

Photo: Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Co.