Global Fuel Cell Leader: Hyundai Motor Group Concentrating on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Development | BusinessKorea

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The layout of a typical hydrogen fuel cell-using car.
The layout of a typical hydrogen fuel cell-using car.
29 January 2015 - 4:46pm

The Hyundai Motor Group is planning to rank second in the global eco-friendly car market by 2020. To this end, the company is focusing on hydrogen fuel cell vehicle R&D at the Gwangju Creative Economy Innovation Center. At the same time, it is going to raise 177.5 billion won (US$162.3 million) in funds with the government for startups in the auto industry and better business management at small and medium enterprises.

The funds include a so-called hydrogen fund of approximately 15 billion won (US$13.7 million), which will be spent on the hydrogen fuel cell industry. Industry-academic idea collection, expert consulting, and mentoring are scheduled, and stations are set up for LPG and CNG-based hydrogen and electric power generation, sale, and storage.

Joint research activities and programs will be underway as well to replace imported hydrogen vehicle parts with domestically-developed ones. Specifically, these will cover the development of separation membranes, base materials, storage, and transfer techniques for fuel cells and external power transmission technology, and so on.

According to the Nikkei BP Cleantech Institute, the global fuel cell market is estimated to reach 400 trillion won (US$366 billion) in 2030. The hydrogen fuel cell industry of Korea is expected to exceed 107 trillion won (US$97.9 billion) by 2040, and they expect to create about 175,000 jobs and produce 23.5 trillion won (US$21.5 billion) of goods.

The sector’s growth can have positive impacts on others, too. When a quantity of hydrogen vehicles are put on the market, the charger, electrode film, motor, and battery manufacturer businesses can be boosted along with those of hydrogen producers and distributors, while the development of hydrogen storage materials such as stainless and carbon can be promoted too. In the long term, techniques for using the electricity generated by hydrogen vehicles at home can be developed in combination with smart home technology. Hydrogen extraction from waste is likely to be in the limelight as well.

In addition, hydrogen vehicles can greatly contribute to the reduction of petroleum imports. The Korea Automotive Research Institute recently explained that 1.5 trillion won (US$1.3 billion) can be saved in oil import costs and carbon emissions can be reduced by 2.1 million tons a year if one million diesel vehicles are replaced with the same number of hydrogen vehicles. According to the Hyundai Motor Group, one million hydrogen vehicles can produce an electric power of 1 GW, which is equivalent to the output of 10 nuclear power plants.

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