Hyundai Motor’s New Hydrogen Fuel Cell Manufacturing Plant Launches in China

By June 1, 2023 3   min read  (453 words)

June 1, 2023 |

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  • This facility is designed to manufacture 100-kW fuel cell systems, primarily for Hyundai’s Nexo hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, with an annual output goal of 6,500 units.
  • Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cells will be provided to Chinese car manufacturers, signaling that locally-produced hydrogen fuel cells may soon be incorporated into Chinese-made hydrogen vehicles.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has reported that Hyundai Motor Group recently held a completion ceremony for their ‘HTWO Guangzhou’ hydrogen fuel cell system manufacturing plant located in Guangdong Province, China.

Constructed on a 207,000 square meter site, this manufacturing plant marks Hyundai Motor’s first international hydrogen fuel cell system production base. The Guangdong Province local government facilitated this project in March 2021 by offering land and tax incentives to attract Hyundai Motor to Guangzhou.

The plant will produce 100-kilowatt (kW) class fuel cells, similar to those used in the hydrogen-powered ‘Nexo’ vehicle. The annual production capacity is 6,500 units. Fuel cells manufactured at this plant will be provided to local automakers to power hydrogen vehicles and may potentially be utilized as power generation fuel cell systems in the future.

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A representative from Hyundai Motor compared the process to creating an engine for a traditional internal combustion vehicle, adding, “We are currently exploring avenues to sell to local automakers first, as Hyundai Motor does not currently produce a hydrogen car in China.” This comes as Chinese authorities are making concerted efforts to promote new energy vehicles, including hydrogen-powered ones.

Since 2004, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has chosen and supported roughly 20 research and development (R&D) projects for hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing technology. Government funding of approximately KRW 2 billion was allocated for the research into developing a 200 kW class fuel cell bus using a cost-effective 100 kW passenger fuel cell system. This research formed the foundation for the fuel cell technology at the Guangzhou plant. Hydrogen fuel cell design, process, and manufacturing technology are considered national core technologies and require governmental approval for exports or establishing local production facilities.

Lee Ok-heon, the Director of Hydrogen Economy Policy at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, attended the completion ceremony, asserting,

“The completion of Hyundai Motor’s fuel cell manufacturing plant and the local supply of fuel cell systems are significant events symbolizing the cooperation between Korean and Chinese companies in the hydrogen economy.”

He added his expectation that companies with hydrogen technology would continue to lead the global hydrogen economy through various collaborative projects.

The Guangzhou facility is Hyundai Motor Co.’s first overseas plant aimed at producing 100-kW fuel cell systems, mainly for its Nexo hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, with a yearly production capacity of 6,500 units.

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