Hyundai extends hydrogen fuel cell reach

Hyundai Mobis has started work on it's new hydrogen fuel-cell manufacturing plant in Incheon, South Korea.

Hyundai extends hydrogen fuel cell reach
Rendering of the new Incheon fuel cell plant

Hyundai Mobis has broken ground for a new plant that will produce hydrogen fuel cell stacks at the Industrial Complex in Cheongna International City, Incheon with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Deputy Prime Minister Hong Nam-ki attending the ceremony.

Hyundai Mobis says it will invest a total of US$1.1 billion (AU$1.5 billion) into it's two plants (Incheon and the southern port city of Ulsan) which 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.

Hyundai Mobis says this investment is expected to give the company even greater momentum in the global race for hydrogen mobility with the addition of new production locations.

Once completed, Hyundai Mobis will operate a total of three fuel cells plants as in 2018, the company became the world’s first to set up a complete production system from fuel cell stack to rest of electronic components in Chungju (approx. two hours south of Seoul) with the Chungju plant 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," says Sung Hwan Cho, president and CEO of Hyundai Mobis.

With the completion of the new plants, Hyundai Mobis plans to expand its production lineups that applies fuel cell systems and diversify hydrogen business. Most fuel cell systems produced by Hyundai Mobis are used in fuel cell EVs but the company is expected to scale its business to other sectors such as construction machinery and logistics equipment.

Last year, Hyundai Mobis developed fuel cell power packs that go into hydrogen forklifts, opening up the possibility for entry into the construction machinery sector. The hydrogen power packs used in forklifts are generators that produce electricity on their own by combining a fuel cell stack, a hydrogen tank, and a cooling device.

Now the company is developing power packs for hydrogen-fueled excavators and plans to enlarge the fuel cell systems for small air mobility.

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