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Hyundai makes first export of hydrogen fuel cell system for generators

Hyundai Motor headquarters in Seoul. The company is now expanding into Indonesia. Photo: AFP/Jung Yeon-je. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SEOUL, Sep 17, 2020, Hankyoreh. Hyundai Motor has exported its first-ever hydrogen fuel cell system for generators. On Sept. 16, the automaker announced that it had exported four hydrogen fuel cell system units to GRZ Technologies, a Swiss company that specializes in hydrogen energy storage, and an unidentified European energy solutions startup. This marks the first time Hyundai Motor has exported a hydrogen fuel cell system that is not for automobile use, Hankyoreh reported.

The second-generation hydrogen fuel cell system that was exported is a 95 kilowatt (kW) system that is also used with the hydrogen-powered Nexo vehicle. It is being imported by GRZ and an energy solutions start-up, which plans to use the fuel cell system to produce emergency power supply generators and eco-friendly portable generators. GRZ possesses hydrogen storage alloy technology and has been cooperating with Hyundai Motor since October 2019 on hydrogen storage technology.

Hyundai Motor plans to use the exportation as a starting point for expanding its hydrogen efforts going forward. The company previously shared its aim of achieving annual domestic production of 500,000 hydrogen vehicles and 700,000 hydrogen fuel cell systems by 2030. Two hundred thousand hydrogen fuel cells systems that are not being used for hydrogen vehicles are to be sold for generators, aircraft, ships, and other uses.

A Hyundai Motor official said, “This exportation is our first overseas sale since the European Union announced its hydrogen economy strategy last July.”

“We look forward to this as an opportunity to raise awareness of Hyundai Motor’s technological capabilities in the eco-friendly advanced market of Europe,” the official added.

For the development of source technology for the Nexo hydrogen fuel cell that Hyundai Motor exported, a total of 90.6 billion won (US$77.1 million) in government research and development (R&D) funding was provided for 16 R&D areas, including “development of low-cost, high-output fuel cell systems.” The amount was provided mainly for hydrogen fuel cell materials R&D activities by partner companies supplying parts to Hyundai Motor.

By Lee Jae-yeon

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