Ambitious plans to have 80,000 hydrogen (H2)-powered fuel cell vehicles on South Korea’s roads by 2022 were unveiled by President Moon Jae-in today as he announced his government’s determination to build a so-called H2 economy.

The South Korean Government sees H2 as a new engine for economic growth and central in the country’s shift to a low-carbon economy in the long term.

At a government-led event in the southeastern city of Ulsan today, Moon announced a road map which would see the country produce 6.2 million units of fuel cell electric vehicles and build 1,200 refuelling stations by 2040.

The government will provide subsidies for fuel-cell electric taxis and trucks while working with local governments to increase the number of fuel-cell electric buses to 2,000 by 2022. It will also replace all 820 police buses with fuel cell electric buses in 2021.

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Source: The Republic of Korea Cheong Wa Dae

“Our government’s determination to (build) a hydrogen economy is firm,” the president said at the meeting, as reported by the Korea Times.

“Unlike carbon, which creates greenhouse gas and fine dust, H2 is a clean energy that produces only water as a by-product. Also, H2 cars have the effect of purifying fine dust when in operation.”

“H2 is an endless resource that can be found anywhere. Right now, extracting (energy) from fossil fuels is common, but generating renewable energy from solar, wind and bio energy sources will become more common in the future.”

“We are an energy-poor country that relies on imports for 95% of its energy needs. Once we are able to supply a certain portion of energy through the H2 economy, we may more steadily develop our economy and enhance our energy security.”

“The H2 economy will open doors to a new opportunity for us.”