|This is an actual image of Hyundai's in-house hydrogen fuel cell product for use in non-automotive sector, which the Korean car manufacturer initially shipped four packs to Switzerland-based GRZ Technologies, Wednesday. Courtesy of Hyundai Motor|
By Kim Yoo-chul
Hyundai Motor has begun exporting its in-house hydrogen fuel cell system to Switzerland's GRZ Technologies for non-automotive use, the country's trade ministry said Wednesday.
The move is in accordance with President Moon Jae-in and his Cheong Wa Dae economic team's ambitious drive to promote hydrogen fuel cell systems as part of efforts to find new growth engines other than legacy products such as conventional cars, ships and steel. In July, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy approved Hyundai's plan to export the system, which the government identified as one of the country's "core technologies."
"The mass exports of the system will be accomplished sometime in 2022," the ministry said, adding it will continue to assist companies that are developing various kinds of fuel cell vehicles and relevant systems to enjoy a "first-mover" advantage in the lucrative and promising markets.
Exporting the system for non-automotive use is in addition to shipments of hydrogen fuel cells for passenger and commercial vehicles. The European firm specializes in bulk energy storage using hydrogen and plans to use the Hyundai system to develop a stationary power supply system to provide electricity for buildings during peak use times. GRZ has the technology to store up to 10 times more hydrogen than in a normal hydrogen storage tank at a lower pressure of below 30 bars versus 200 to 500 bars.
Regarding the ministry's announcement, Hyundai officials expect the technology could be used in various ways through close cooperation with GRZ in the future.
Hyundai Motor is also in discussions to export the system to 20 unnamed companies. The Korean car manufacturer plans to expand its sales network to the United States and China.
In China, according to readjusted support policies for electric vehicles, local Chinese governments and companies are required to have a more stable and secure supply chain and detailed business models for the booming industry.
Hyundai Motor earlier said it aims to manufacture up to 700,000 fuel cell systems, on a yearly basis, for use in the passenger vehicle and non-automotive segments such as rail vehicles, drones and power generation by the end of 2030.