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Hyundai Motor Outruns Toyota to Finish 1st in Hydrogen-powered Vehicles
Leader in Hydrogen Vehicles
Hyundai Motor Outruns Toyota to Finish 1st in Hydrogen-powered Vehicles
  • By Michael Herh
  • December 2, 2019, 09:56
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Hyundai Motor's hydrogen car Nexo
Hyundai Motor's hydrogen car Nexo

Hyundai Motor has surpassed Toyota of Japan to become the world's number one seller of hydrogen-powered cars.

Hyundai Motor began to mass-produce hydrogen-fueled electric cars for the first time in the world in 2013.

The number of hydrogen-powered cars sold domestically until October this year was 3,207, up 622 percent from the same period of last year, said the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) on Dec. 1. The figure eclipses that of combined hydrogen cars sold in the United States (1,798), Japan (596) and the European Union (397) in the same period. As a result, Korea has become the world's No. 1 country in terms of hydrogen car sales this year.

Increased sales of hydrogen-powered cars in Korea helped Hyundai Motor rank first in sales of hydrogen cars for the first time, beating Toyota. From January to October this year, Hyundai sold 3,666 hydrogen cars, up 576.4 percent from the same period last year. During the same period, Toyota sold 2,174 units and Honda sold 286 units. The former’s sales were up 16.8 percent from the same period last year, while the latter’s down 54 percent.

Although Hyundai Motor began volume production of hydrogen-fueled cars ahead of Toyota, it has lagged behind the Japanese automaker in sales. The Korean government’s support for hydrogen vehicles was relatively smaller than that for electric vehicles. However, the government started to provide massive support for Hyundai Motor's second-generation hydrogen car Nexo this year.

The Korean government aims to help Korean automakers produce 6.2 million units of hydrogen cars by 2040, attaining the world's biggest market share. It will ramp up the number of distributed hydrogen-powered cars to 10,100 units in 2020 from 5,467 units in 2019 and that of hydrogen-powered buses to 180 from 37 in the same period.