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Carbon neutrality

Hyundai Motor chairman vows to go carbon neutral, stresses electrification

The automaker aims to launch 23 types of EVs and hydrogen cars by 2025

By May 25, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai Motor chief Chung Euisun wears an upcycled T-shirt in a plastic-free campaign.
Hyundai Motor chief Chung Euisun wears an upcycled T-shirt in a plastic-free campaign.

Chung Euisun, chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, has vowed to go carbon neutral in the group's processes, from automaking to vehicle disposal, in a move to slash carbon emissions and embrace the global paradigm shift toward eco-friendly business practices.

He made the commitment during a Green Future Week session speech on May 24 in the run-up to a global summit on climate change and sustainable development set for the end of this month.

The session comes days ahead of the 2021 Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) summit that South Korea is hosting May 30-31.

The biennial summit, which convenes heads of governments and business leaders of 12 member countries, including Korea, Denmark and Mexico, is a platform for public-private partnerships to complement inter-governmental climate responses.

The summit aims to create a model to deliver both climate action and economic growth and help developing nations achieve sustainable development goals.

Under the theme of Inclusive Green Recovery towards Carbon Neutrality, this year’s event includes a session on a business paradigm shift in the era of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives and green technology to explore eco-friendly strategies for companies, according to organizers.

VEHICLE ELECTRIFICATION KEY TO CARBON NEUTRALITY

Representing Korea’s industrial sector at the session, the Hyundai Motor chairman emphasized vehicle electrification as crucial in achieving carbon neutrality in the transportation sector.

“Together with power generation and manufacturing factories, transportation is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions,” Chung said.

Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun speaks at the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit.
Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun speaks at the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit.

Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp., the two automaking units of the group, are currently selling 13 types of electric vehicles around the world.

As of 2020, the business group sold about 198,000 EVs as the world’s fourth-largest electric car maker.

Hyundai’s NEXO, the world’s first hydrogen-powered SUV that has the longest driving range of hydrogen vehicles in the market, has sold 15,000 units since its launch.

Hyundai Motor is also active in rolling out hydrogen-fueled trucks and other commercial vehicles.

The company said about 100 hydrogen-powered buses are running in Korea and 200 more such buses will hit the road this year.

“In 2022, we aim to offer hydrogen-fueled garbage trucks in major cities,” said Chairman Chung.

The automotive group plans to launch 23 types of electric vehicles and unveil various hydrogen cars, including follow-ups to the NEXO, by 2025.

Chung, who took the helm of Hyundai Motor Group in October 2020, 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 to embrace the hydrogen economy, which utilizes hydrogen as a fuel for heat, hydrogen vehicles, energy storage and long-distance energy transport.

Write to So-Hyeon Kim and Il-Gue Kim at alpha@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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