Hyundai Motor Group supports hydrogen as a sustainable energy option. The South Korean automaker announced that its new fuel cell system will be launched in the coming years. It also plans to offer hydrogen fuel cells versions of all its commercial vehicles by 2028.
On Tuesday, Hyundai presented its strategy for hydrogen future during a live stream at the Hydrogen Wave conference. Saehoon, executive vice president of Hyundai Motor Group's fuel cell center, stated that Hyundai's goal is to achieve cost competivity comparable to EV batteries by 2030.
The Vision FK is a high-performance rear-wheel-drive hydrogen sports car. It has a 500kW fuel-cell system, which can propel it from 0-60 km/h in just four seconds. It also boasts 600km (373 miles) of range. Hyundai didn't reveal when the vehicle would be in production.
While hydrogen is becoming a more mainstream market as automakers start to produce electric vehicles for passenger and commercial use alike, it is still very niche. However, this market is growing because of the ambitious emission reductions targets set by America, Europe, and China. While they still develop electric vehicles, Toyota Motor Corp., BMW, and Daimler all have begun to embrace hydrogen fuel cell technology in a different way. Hyundai's commitment to hydrogen does not deter its commitment to electric. Given the current climate, we are facing an all-hands on deck situation. Let the best fuel win.
Kim announced that Hyundai will launch two new hydrogen fuel cells powertrains in 2023. This is a move the company hopes will make hydrogen mainstream by 2040. The third generation Hyundais hydrogen fuel stack can be produced in 100 kW and 200kW outputs, for passenger cars or commercial vehicles.
Hyundai Motor Group includes Genesis, Hyundai, Kia, and Kia. There is currently one fuel cell bus available on the market, the Elec City Fuel Cell Bus. There are 115 buses on the roads in South Korea. The automaker also offers a fuel cell truck, the Xcient Hyundai. 45 of these vehicles were launched last year in Switzerland.
Hyundai has a fuel cell SUV called the NEXO. The company plans to launch the next model in 2023 alongside a hydrogen-powered multipurpose vehicle model. At the IAA Mobility conference, Hyundai announced that it will launch a large fuel-cell-powered SUV in 2025. Four more commercial vehicles are expected to follow by the end the decade. The company plans to offer fuel cell technology for various use cases, including emergency vehicles and ships, as well as freights, trams. forklifts, and other vehicles used in industrial processes.
Kim stated that fuel cell technology is a well-proven technology that can provide hydrogen's benefits to people in many fields. A fuel cell can be described as a power generator similar to an engine. This fuel cell is different from a battery that stores electricity. A fuel cell system is composed of a fuel stack that produces electricity, a hydrogen supply, an air supply, and a thermal management. It produces power by combining hydrogen with oxygen, much like an internal combustion engine, but without carbon emissions.
Kim explained that fuel cells produce energy by chemical reactions and can operate for as long as hydrogen fuel fuel is available. This is in contrast to a battery, which only passively stores energy. He stated that Hyundai is working to build the right ecosystem for success in the hydrogen market, including storage and production. The infrastructure will be largely made up of solar and wind energy sources, which would generate the renewable energy necessary to produce clean power to convert water into oxygen and green hydrocarbons.
Hyundai Motor, in addition to its own research and development has already invested in H2Pro hydrogen startups and has announced plans for green hydrogen infrastructures in countries that have supportive governments and abundant renewable energies.
The announcement by Hyundai that it would become carbon neutral by 2045 and reduce its emissions by 75% by 2040 was a major catalyst for much of the activity in this sector. Hyundai anticipates that 30% of vehicle sales will be zero-emission by 2030. By 2040, battery electric and fuel cell vehicles will account for 80% of total fleet sales.