Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) is dramatically increasing its interest in hydrogen fuel cell technology by investing almost $6.7bn (KRW 7.6 trillion won) into developing hydrogen-powered systems for cars, drones and ships.

The South Korean carmaker will increase its annual fuel-cell systems production capacity to 700,000 units by 2030 and explore new business opportunities to supply its world-class fuel-cell systems to other transportation manufacturers of cars, drones, vessels, rolling stocks and forklifts. 

The ‘FCEV Vision 2030’ roadmap will help HMG and its suppliers to invest approximately KRW 7.6 trillion in R&D and facility expansion, with the creation of roughly 51,000 jobs.

As a first step towards the ‘FCEV Vision 2030’, HMG’s fuel-cell system manufacturing affiliate Hyundai Mobis Co. held a ground-breaking ceremony for its second fuel-cell system plant in Chungju, South Korea. It will help Mobis increase annual fuel-cell system output to 40,000 units by 2022, up for the current 3,000 units.

“Hyundai Motor Group, the global pioneer of the commercial production of FCEV, is taking a bold step forward to expedite the realisation of a hydrogen society,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group.

“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 visible energy source. We are confident that hydrogen power will transcend the transportation sector and become a leading globally economic success.”

HMG’s flagship auto-making affiliate Hyundai Motor launched NEXO, its second-generation commercialised FCEV, earlier in 2018. The group plan to advance the fuel-cell system used in NEXO models to upgrade and diversify its fuel-cell line-up and has established a dedicated division to develop and support fuel-cell system businesses.

HMG are the only company to establish a dedicated plant for commercial production of fuel cell systems.

HMG plans to secure a 500,000-units-a–year FCEV production capacity by 2030, including passenger cars and commercial vehicles, in anticipation of high demand for global FCEVs expanding to around two million units a year within that timeframe.