Hyundai made two announcements on Oct. 8 that show its efforts to advance the use of hydrogen for the industry.
Agreement with Shell for Hydrogen Infrastructure Development
Hyundai Motor North America has reached an agreement with Equilon Enterprises LLC/Shell Hydrogen for a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in California. Referred to as Project Neptune, the partnership will construct 48 additional and two upgraded hydrogen refueling stations across the state beginning in 2021. As part of the agreement, Hyundai has committed to fuel cell vehicle sales growth supporting the expanding hydrogen infrastructure.
“We’re proud to join Shell Hydrogen’s ‘Project Neptune.’ expanding California’s hydrogen infrastructure to meet increasing consumer demand for clean, zero-emission transportation solutions. Hyundai offers a superb fuel cell vehicle in its NEXO SUV, and this effort will help ensure that every eco-focused fuel cell driver has convenient refueling options wherever they choose to go,” said Olabisi Boyle, vice president of product planning and mobility strategy, Hyundai Motor North America.
Hyundai says this work is closely tied to a key pillar of its long-range strategic vision. The new hydrogen stations will be partially funded by public funds from the California Energy Commission. Two other fuel cell vehicle manufacturers have also joined the consortium to support infrastructure growth.
In March 2021, Hyundai Motor Company also signed a five-year Global Business Cooperation Agreement with Royal Dutch Shell to expand collaboration on clean energy solutions.
Hyundai Mobis Invests $1.1 Billion in Hydrogen Fuel Cell System Plants in Korea
Hyundai Mobis also announced a plan to build two new fuel cell plants in Korea to accelerate the hydrogen economy and to secure broader global market acceptance.
On Oct. 7, Hyundai Mobis held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new plant that will produce hydrogen fuel cell stacks at the Industrial Complex in Cheongna International City, Incheon.
The company is investing a total of $1.1 billion USD into the two plants. The new plants will start mass production in the second half of 2023. When fully operational, the facilities are expected to produce 100,000 hydrogen fuel cells every year. Once complete, Hyundai Mobis will operate a total of three fuel cells plants. A current plant in Chungju is capable of producing approximately 23,000 hydrogen cell systems a year.
“Despite uncertainties including COVID-19, we have decided to make this large-scale investment to secure the market-leading competitiveness in the global fuel cell industry. We will continue to invest more in facilities and strengthen our R&D capability for the development of the hydrogen industry and expand the ecosystem,” said Sung Hwan Cho, president and CEO of Hyundai Mobis.
Most fuel cell systems produced by the company are used in fuel cell EVs, but the company expects to scale its business to other sectors such as construction machinery and logistics equipment.