Hyundai Mobis is building two brand-new fuel cell plants.
Hyundai Mobis, a car parts company owned by the Hyundai Motor Group mothership, recently announced that it would build two new fuel cell plants in South Korea. This is part of a new plan to accelerate the growth of the hydrogen economy. Hyundai obviously wants a big slice of the pie since it's one of a handful of manufacturers that offer hydrogen cars, with Toyota's Mirai being the main rival.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place at the Industrial Complex in Cheongna International City, Incheon. President Moon Jae-in and Deputy Prime Minister Hong Nam-ki attended the ceremony, proving just how significant this investment is.
It will cost an estimated $1.1 billion to build these two plants, which will begin mass production in 2023. At total capacity, these facilities will be able to produce 100,000 hydrogen fuel cells each year. Hyundai Mobis is already the largest producer of hydrogen fuel cells since Hyundai mothership intends to put a hydrogen power plant in everything.
Once completed, Hyundai Mobis will have the capacity to produce 123,000 hydrogen fuel cells per year, counting the output of the existing facility in Chungju. Mass production will decrease pricing, making hydrogen a more attractive alternative.
This investment should work wonders for decreasing the cost of hydrogen cars, but it still doesn't take care of the lack of infrastructure. Sales of the Hyundai Nexo are limited to California's metropolitan areas, for example.
That does not mean there isn't money to be made. Hyundai Mobis has plans to expand the hydrogen business to include construction machinery and logistics equipment. Hyundai Mobis already developed a fuel cell for a forklift and is now working on an excavator. If you own a large construction or logistics company, it is a viable alternative. Constructing a hydrogen fueling station on-site will likely cost a bundle, but it will result in massive savings in the long run.
"Despite uncertainties including COVID-19, we have decided to make this large-scale investment to secure the market-leading competitiveness in the global fuel cell industry. We will continue to invest more in facilities and strengthen our R&D capability for the development of the hydrogen industry and expand the ecosystem," said Sung Hwan Cho, President and CEO of Hyundai Mobis.