Hyundai's 2019 Nexo fuel cell vehicle is a central part of the company's hydrogen strategy.
 - Photo courtesy of Hyundai.

Hyundai's 2019 Nexo fuel cell vehicle is a central part of the company's hydrogen strategy.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai.

Hyundai Motor Group plans to invest $6.7 billion in hydrogen fuel cell technology and hopes to produce 700,000 fuel cell systems each year by 2030. Hyundai, which owns about 33% of Kia Motor Corp., plans to install 500,000 of those in Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

Hyundai announced its plans as part of its FCEV Vision 2030, which was announced Dec. 11 as it opened a new hydrogen fuel-cell plant in Chungju, South Korea. The plant, which will be operated by Hyundai Mobis, will increase output from today's 3,000 fuel-cell packs per year to 40,000 a year by 2022.

Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles haven't been adopted in recent years partly because of the lack of fueling infrastructure. There are now 36 retail stations open in California with another 28 under development, according to the California Fuel Cell Partnership.

Hyundai says its research shows that global demand for hydrogen-powered vehicles will grow to 2 million per year by 2030.

"We will expand our role beyond the automotive transportation sector and play a pivotal role in global society’s transition to clean energy by helping make hydrogen an economically viable energy source," said Euisun Chung, executive vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. "We are confident that hydrogen power will transcend the transportation sector and become a leading global economic success."

This year, Hyundai introduced its 2019 Nexo fuel-cell utility vehicle. It retails for just under $60,000. Hyundai was one of the first manufacturers to offer a fuel-cell vehicle with its 2013 Tucson Fuel Cell, which the company offers with a lease in California. Toyota and Honda sell the Mirai and Clarity Fuel Cell respectively.

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