South Korea is betting big on hydrogen. The country is moving at scale and speed to develop a hydrogen economy, with incentives and initiatives to encourage the production, import and consumption of hydrogen. Although hydrogen has a wide variety of applications, Korea is giving the highest priority to the mobility and power generation spaces. The country’s largest automotive company, Hyundai Motors, launched the world’s first commercial fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) in 2013 and the first fuel cell truck in 2020, and the country accounts for fully one-third of the world’s installed capacity of utility-scale stationary fuel cells.
In the streets of Seoul nowadays it’s not uncommon at all to see a lot of hydrogen cars. I personally love taking quiet, comfortable and emission-free hydrogen taxis, that charge the same fare as a regular taxi, to go to meetings and trade shows on behalf of my clients. One of the reasons for such popularity of FCEVs in Korea is because the country is home to Hyundai Motors, one of the largest FCEV OEMs in the world. Indeed, as of 2020, Hyundai had cumulatively supplied more than 11,000 commercial FCEVs, accounting for 60% of the global market. Hyundai surpassed Japan’s Toyota and Honda to claim the world’s top spot for hydrogen car sales in 2020, and only slipped to second place in FCEV sales in the last quarter as Toyota released its new model.
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