Hyundai has had a busy week, having to dispel accusations that it was breaking up with hydrogen. This week, another “industry insider” claimed that Hyundai had halted research and development on third-generation hydrogen fuelcells.
According to a report published by the Korean news portal Chosun Biz, Hyundai has halted R&D on third-generation hydrogen fuel cells owing to technical issues and a lack of marketability.
That isn’t the case, according to a statement released today by an unknown Hyundai Motor executive to the Korea Times:
The hydrogen FCEV project has not been stopped, but rather postponed, due to challenges found during research, although Hyundai has been developing hydrogen FCEVs and will continue to do so.
No, Hyundai’s ICE development isn’t coming to an end.
The hydrogen revelation came on the heels of reports that Hyundai was shutting down its internal combustion engine research and development and relocating its 12,000-strong workforce to electric car sections.
Michael Stewart, Senior Group Manager of Hyundai Motor America, wrote to Motor1.com only a few hours ago, saying:
Following recent media speculation, Hyundai Motor Group can affirm that it is not discontinuing engine development. The Group is committed to offering a diverse range of powertrains to consumers across the world, including a mix of highly efficient engines and zero-emissions electric motors.
Media reports that are inaccurate have ramifications.
To be honest, I’m beginning to wonder whether these business insiders are paid supporters of competitor corporations attempting to stir up trouble.
Investors responded negatively to the news of the hydrogen assertion. According to The Korea Times, firms linked with Hyundai and/or working on fuel cell technology had their stock values fall by 4% to 10% as a result of the article.
Investors seem to be taking their signals from the media, which I don’t think is a good thing. Shouldn’t they be paying experts with a longer-term perspective?
Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell vision is coming to fruition – although slowly.
The South Korean government and Hyundai established a target of producing 130,000 hydrogen vehicles per year by 2025 and selling 80,000 hydrogen cars by 2022. Retail sales haven’t even come close anywhere in the globe thus far.
Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell trailer drone is available in a variety of configurations and applications.
HFC car sales almost doubled in 2021 compared to the previous year. Between January and December 2020, 16,300 automobiles were registered1. 8900 of these were Hyundai Motor’s single fuel cell electric vehicle Nexo, which had a 46 percent rise in sales over the previous year.
Hyundai revealed their Hydrogen Vision 2040 during an online event dubbed Hydrogen Wave in September of last year. It reaffirmed its goal of becoming the first carmaker to incorporate fuel cell technology into all commercial vehicle models by 2028.
This is part of a larger initiative to incorporate hydrogen fuel cells into high-performance automobiles. Urban air mobility, robotics, planes, and huge ships are among them.
Hyundai Engineering Co., a Hyundai Motor Group construction subsidiary, is investing $336 million in a facility that would manufacture hydrogen from plastic trash. In a proposed initial public offering (IPO) early this year, the business hopes to raise up to $1.2 billion.
The source of the problem is hydrogen filling stations.
Global hydrogen refuelling boom – LBST’s H2stations.org.
Hydrogen fuel cell cars suffer the same problems as electric vehicles in terms of charging and power. At the end of 2020, there were 553 hydrogen refuelling stations in operation across the globe.
South Korea vowed to build 310 hydrogen refuelling stations by 2022, according to a group of business executives and the government.
There were just 60 at the end of 2020. That’s a significant gap. In contrast, South Korea has just around 400 EV charging stations.
Ships, railroads, buses, VTOLs, and trucks are among the most common uses for hydrogen. At truck parking bays, shipyards, bus and rail stations, these often have access to on-site refuelling.
Hyundai Vision FK prototype, a high-powered sports vehicle with a hydrogen fuel cell, a plug-in system, and rear-wheel drive.
However, in order for hydrogen fuel cell cars to flourish, infrastructure must catch up, creating a chicken-and-egg situation in which corporations must balance the long-term snail pace of commercial hydrogen fuel cell development with the quick acceleration of electric vehicles.