Hyundai Motor will pour $7 billion into hydrogen-powered systems

Hyundai Motor Group will pour almost $7 billion into developing hydrogen-powered systems for cars, drones and ships as it doubles down on an emerging technology that has divided the automobile industry. South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate is betting that fuel-cell technology will help it maintain its longterm competitiveness amid criticism that the group was too slow to adapt to battery-powered electric vehicles. Alongside Japanese rival Toyota, Hyundai has for years been a supporter of fuel-cell technology, which operates by converting stored hydrogen into electricity to power vehicles’ motors. In September, Hyundai Group’s key carmaker, Hyundai Motor, announced it would launch the first fleet of commercially made hydrogen-powered trucks as part of a tie-up with Swiss hydrogen company H2 Energy. The latest move is far more ambitious, with the group committing Won7.6 trillion ($6.7 billion) over the next 10 years to boost production of fuel-cell systems and engines to 700,000 units. It currently has an annual production capacity of 3,000 hydrogen cars… Supporters of hydrogen technology say fuel cells are more suited to long-distance transport than are purely electric vehicles, which face range limits, lengthy refuelling times and battery degradation.

Bryan Harris and Song Jung-a