The Korea Herald


Hyundai Motor accelerates hydrogen drive

Korean auto giant to launch follow-up model of hydrogen-powered vehicle Nexo in 2025

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : June 9, 2024 - 15:12

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Hyundai Motor Company's hydrogen-powered vehicle Nexo is parked at a charging station. (Hyundai Motor Company) Hyundai Motor Company's hydrogen-powered vehicle Nexo is parked at a charging station. (Hyundai Motor Company)

Hyundai Motor Company has acquired the domestic hydrogen fuel cell business from the auto conglomerate’s affiliate and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis to speed up its technological innovation and product development, the automaker said Sunday.

According to Hyundai Motor, the takeover was officially completed last month to gather Mobis’ hydrogen fuel cell facilities, assets and personnel in one place. With the acquisition, Hyundai Motor set up a new process quality unit under its research and development division’s hydrogen fuel cell development center to strengthen the organizational structure.

The automaker pledged to secure the technological competitiveness of hydrogen fuel cells by utilizing the combined hydrogen team and enhancing production quality to realize a hydrogen ecosystem based on the expansion of hydrogen fuel cells that have uses beyond hydrogen-powered vehicles.

“We are working on the hydrogen business with a sense of duty,” said Chang Jae-hoon, CEO of Hyundai Motor Company.

“We will strengthen the cooperative system within the group companies to secure leadership in the hydrogen ecosystem and continue to expand the basis of the hydrogen business by continuously pushing for resource-circulating hydrogen production, technology development and expansion of (hydrogen-powered) commercial vehicles.”

Hyundai Motor said it will put efforts into increasing operational efficiency through a unified management system to offer hydrogen fuel cell products that have a competitive edge in cost.

The company explained that as hydrogen fuel cell systems play a crucial role in the marketability of hydrogen vehicles’ price and fuel efficiency, it will concentrate on advancing its products’ performance, durability and production quality to contribute to having more hydrogen-powered cars on the road.

The automaker also said it plans to launch the follow-up model of its mass-produced hydrogen-powered sports utility vehicle Nexo next year to solidify its leadership in the global hydrogen vehicle market.

On top of that, the company said it would diversify its hydrogen businesses in non-vehicle sectors such as power generation, tram, harbor, ship and advanced air mobility. For instance, the automaker has been working with Hyundai Mobis and Hyundai Rotem to develop a hydrogen forklift and hydrogen tram.

Hyundai Motor Group established a unit dedicated to developing hydrogen-related technology in 1998. The auto giant was the first worldwide to produce hydrogen-powered vehicles on a mass scale in 2013 when it rolled out the Tucson ix, a hydrogen fuel cell electric SUV. Five years later, the company debuted its second-generation hydrogen vehicle with the launch of the Nexo.

Going beyond the field of passenger cars, Hyundai Motor’s hydrogen development on wheels extended to the hydrogen-powered bus Universe and hydrogen-powered truck Xcient in the commercial vehicle sector.

The latest model of the Universe boasts a driving distance of up to 635 kilometers per charge while the Xcient, which can drive up to 800 km per charge, has hit the road in France, Germany, Israel, Korea, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.