In February, three companies jointly developed MOU after developing medium to large hydrogen forklift prototype in seven months and now announce that it has been successful.
The hydrogen forklift developed is scheduled to begin its first operation for a demonstration project in the Hydrogen Regulatory Free Zone at the beginning of next year with the goal of commercialization in 2023.
Now that the hydrogen fuel cell system is used in the construction machinery field following the hydrogen electric vehicle (passenger, truck) and hydrogen emergency power generator, its use is expected to expand to more diverse industrial fields such as hydrogen ships and trains in the future.
Hyundai Mobis announced on the 24th that it has succeeded in developing a prototype of a hydrogen forklift in collaboration with Hyundai Motor Company and Hyundai Construction Equipment and is promoting a demonstration project for performance evaluation. This is an achievement made seven months after the three companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for joint development of construction equipment using hydrogen fuel cells in February.
The hydrogen forklift developed this time is a medium-sized forklift that can lift up to 5 tons of cargo and can be operated continuously for 5 hours when hydrogen is fully charged. Although small-sized hydrogen forklifts that carry small items indoors have been disclosed, this is the first time that a medium-sized hydrogen forklift has been developed. The hydrogen fuel cell system, mass-produced by Hyundai Motor Group, was applied to the hydrogen forklift. In this process, Hyundai Mobis independently developed a fuel cell power pack’ optimized for hydrogen forklifts.
In a hydrogen forklift, a power pack is a generator that generates electricity by itself and is a system that integrates a fuel cell stack, a high voltage battery, a hydrogen tank, and a cooling device. It developed a customized system because the hydrogen fuel cell system for automobiles could not be applied as it is to a forklift.
Hyundai Construction Equipment designed and manufactured a vehicle body exclusively for hydrogen forklifts based on its technological know-how in the machinery field. Hyundai Construction Equipment will be in charge of a comprehensive evaluation, including verification of the performance and quality of hydrogen forklifts in the future.
The hydrogen forklift developed this time will be unveiled for the first time at a customer invitation demonstration scheduled within this year, and will be operated in earnest in the free regulatory zones and hydrogen demonstration cities such as Ulsan. To this end, it is known that Hyundai Mobis and Hyundai Construction Equipment have agreed to launch a hydrogen forklift demonstration project in the Hydrogen Green Mobility Free Regulatory Zone in Ulsan. Based on the results of the demonstration project, it plans to discover pilot projects that can utilize hydrogen forklifts such as ports, airports, and distribution centers, and explore various ways to advance into overseas markets.
An official from Hyundai Mobis explained, “In addition to automobiles, there are many fields around us that can utilize hydrogen fuel cell systems.”
Hyundai Motor Company, Hyundai Mobis, and Hyundai Construction Equipment are jointly developing hydrogen excavators following hydrogen forklifts, and plan to develop and introduce prototypes within this year. Hydrogen excavators are also aiming for commercialization in 2023 after undergoing a process such as empirical evaluation and pilot projects.
The Hyundai Motor Group is advancing into the global market by fostering the hydrogen fuel cell system, which is already recognized as the world’s best technology, as a strategic business. In July, it mass-produced the world’s first hydrogen-electric truck and started exporting it, and recently, it also achieved overseas exports of hydrogen fuel cell systems.
Since 2017, Hyundai Mobis has established a mass production system for hydrogen fuel cell systems and has been responding to business expansion in the hydrogen fuel cell field. Hyundai Mobis currently has the ability to produce hydrogen fuel cells of 23,000 cars per year and plans to expand it to 40,000 units per year by 2022.