Hyundai Motor Group, South Korea’s second-biggest conglomerate and the parent entity of Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, vowed on Tuesday (Sep 7) to popularize hydrogen energy in “everything”, such as, all types of mobility and other aspects including homes, buildings and power plants, by 2040.
“Hyundai Motor Group’s vision is to apply hydrogen energy in all areas of life and industry such as our homes, workplaces and factories. The goal is to make hydrogen readily used for everyone, everything, and everywhere,” Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun told an online press conference.
Speaking at the media event titled Hydrogen Wave, Chung said Hyundai aimed to help foster a worldwide hydrogen society by 2040 by applying the hydrogen fuel cell systems to broader fields beyond transportation.
To achieve the goal, Hyundai planned to introduce its next-generation hydrogen fuel cell system in 2023, with costs being lowered by more than 50 percent, total package volume reduced by 30 percent, and power output doubled.
Hyundai’s third-generation fuel cell stack, currently in development, will be of two power versions. The 100kW stack reduces in size by 30 percent, making it easier to apply to different vehicle types, while the 200kW stack is designed for commercial vehicle applications with its power output doubled.
Through the continuous technological innovation of fuel cell systems, Hyundai expected its fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) to achieve a price point comparable to battery electric vehicles by 2030.
Hyundai will start with commercial vehicles, which emit larger amounts of carbon dioxide and require longer drive ranges compared with passenger vehicles.
It aimed to fully electrify its commercial vehicle lineup, such as trucks and buses, by 2028 by adopting either battery or fuel cells for the lineup to decarbonize the public transportation and the logistics industry.
Hyundai planned to apply hydrogen fuel cell systems to all sorts of transportation, such as cars, trains, aircraft and ships, while expanding the technology to other energy aspects including the provision of electricity and heating to buildings, urban energy sources and power plants.
Hyundai’s effort to back hydrogen energy as new energy sources and reduce dependence on fossil fuels was in line with South Korea’s vision to go carbon neutral by 2050.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in October last year that his government will seek to effectively cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050 to proactively tackle climate change together with the international community.
Last week, South Korea’s parliament passed a bill mandating the government vision to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, becoming the world’s 14th country to codify the carbon neutrality.
“The (Hyundai Motor) group seeks to offer powerful and pragmatic solutions for combating climate change via the tremendous potential of hydrogen energy,” said Chairman Chung during the online press conference.
Hydrogen energy was estimated to account for 18 percent of global energy demand by 2050, with a market size of 2.5 trillion U.S. dollars, according to the Hydrogen Council, a global CEO-led initiative of energy, transport, industry and investment companies.
The popularization of hydrogen energy will help cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 6 billion tons a year, according to the estimate.
Hyundai Motor launched the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, Tucson FCEV, in 2013, the next-generation fuel cell sport utility vehicle, NEXO, in 2018, and the world’s first heavy-duty fuel cell truck, XCIENT Fuel Cell, in 2020.
In March, Hyundai started the construction of its first overseas fuel cell system facility in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. The plant was forecast to initially produce 6,500 fuel cell systems annually and gradually increase its capacity in line with market demand, according to Hyundai.