Hyundai auto group embarks on development of hydrogen construction equipment

By Lim Chang-won Posted : February 18, 2020, 14:21 Updated : July 17, 2020, 16:22

[Courtesy of Hyundai Construction]

SEOUL -- Under an agreement to pre-emptive the global market, South Korea's Hyundai auto group joined hands with a domestic construction equipment maker to produce excavators and forklifts powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The auto group has led the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles.

Hyundai Motor and its parts-making wing, Hyundai Mobis, signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday with Hyundai Construction Equipment (HCE) affiliated with the Hyundai shipbuilding group to develop the world's first construction machines with hydrogen fuel cell systems.

The three companies agreed to produce the prototype of hydrogen fuel cell forklifts by the end of this year and hydrogen fuel cell excavators in 2021. They aim to release commercial products in 2023 after undergoing empirical tests.

The auto group is responsible for hydrogen fuel cell solutions, performance tests and quality evaluations, while HCE is in charge of designing and manufacturing forklifts and excavators. "Cooperation between the three companies will be a good measure to gauge the possible application of hydrogen fuel cell technology to the construction machinery sector," said Park Sun-chan, head of Hyundai Motor's fuel cell business division.

The auto group seeks to become the first mover in the commercial eco-friendly vehicle market with a hydrogen-powered heavy-duty truck. Because of tightening global emissions standards, commercial vehicle makers are forced to move onto clean energy from conventional fossil fuels. Hyundai and other vehicle makers are developing hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles.
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