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Hydrogen economy

Hyundai’s hydrogen push gains steam under new leadership

Oct 15, 2020 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai Motor Co. is taking the lead in the South Korean government drive to push the hydrogen economy as one of the country’s new growth engines amid the tightening of global environmental regulations.

Hyundai Motor said on Oct. 15 it is jointly setting up a special-purpose company called Korea Hydrogen Energy Network, or Kohygen, with the government and a dozen local companies and institutions to facilitate the establishment and operation of filling stations for hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

The country’s largest automaker signed a memorandum of understanding with these entities to launch the company in February 2021, with a view to establish 10 gaseous hydrogen filling stations across the country from next year.

Hyundai said it plans to build an additional 25 liquid hydrogen stations from 2023 to establish a hydrogen-energy infrastructure for the commercialization of hydrogen-fueled cars.

“With full state support, we want to take the lead in enhancing the hydrogen economy in accordance with the government’s Green New Deal initiative,” Hyundai said in a statement.

Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Euisun attended the Oct. 15 government-private meeting on the hydrogen economy.


The signing ceremony was held on the sidelines of a government-private meeting on the hydrogen economy, where new Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Euisun reiterated the company’s determination to invest heavily in hydrogen and other electric vehicles.

Chung, who took the helm of Hyundai Motor Group on Wednesday, said in his inaugural speech that the automaker will push for new growth businesses focusing on EVs, hydrogen fuel cell cars and future mobility platforms.

Tougher global environmental regulations on carbon emissions are driving governments and private companies toward pursuing the hydrogen economy, which utilizes the use of hydrogen as a fuel for heat, hydrogen vehicles, energy storage and long-distance energy transport.

The South Korean government said on Thursday the country plans to become the world’s “first mover” in the hydrogen field as there is no clear frontrunner yet.

At the hydrogen economy committee meeting, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said the government will spend 800 billion won ($700 million) next year to support Korea’s transition to a hydrogen economy.

The government also plans to implement a system that will make mandatory the purchase of power produced by hydrogen fuel cells in the electric power market and lower the price of natural gas used in making hydrogen by up to 43%.

Chung Euisun officially asssumed the chairmanship of Hyundai Motor Group on Oct. 14, 2020.


After debuting the automotive group's first hydrogen fuel cell EV, the Nexo, in 2013, Hyundai Motor began mass-producing hydrogen trucks this year and exporting them to the European market. The Nexo is standing as the world's top-selling hydrogen vehicle, with 3,292 trucks selling across the world in the first half of this year.

In September, Hyundai Motor also shipped four hydrogen-powered vehicles to Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest oil producer, as the Middle Eastern country is gradually adopting eco-friendly cars.

Hyundai Motor said it aims to sell more than 80,000 commercial hydrogen cars globally by 2030, including 22,000 cars in Korea, 12,000 units in North America and 27,000 units in China.

Write to Soo-Young Seong and Kyung-Mok Noh at

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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