Is there a spot for hydrogen within the zero-emissions future? Hyundai has the solutions

Is there a place for hydrogen in the zero-emissions future? Hyundai has the answers


Hyundai was one of many headline automobile producers on the 2024 Shopper Electronics Present (CES) in Las Vegas, presenting merchandise protecting a variety of fields. In addition to exhibiting the Supernal S-A2 electrical VTOL passenger craft, autonomous plant equipment and future mobility by using autonomous pod methods, The Korean model additionally offered its imaginative and prescient for future hydrogen tech.

The change to hydrogen is a part of Hyundai’s purpose to turn out to be carbon impartial by 2045, and CES featured the most recent developments for its HTwo hydrogen model. This included new processes to make hydrogen from plastic waste and biowaste, whereas the corporate’s show additionally showcased new options for transportation and storage.

However with hydrogen energy nonetheless seeming prefer it’s a good distance away – particularly within the UK the place the variety of public hydrogen fuelling stations might be counted on the fingers of 1 hand – it may be onerous to envisage it as a sensible choice for shoppers. To get the lowdown on Hyundai’s imaginative and prescient of hydrogen energy, we spoke to Martin Aeilinger, Hyundai’s government vp of sunshine industrial automobile expertise, about hydrogen’s place available in the market and why the corporate sees it as an power resolution.

Q&A: Martin Aeilinger, Hyundai VP of sunshine industrial automobile expertise

Q: Hydrogen has at all times been an power supply that is coming quickly. Are we any nearer to really having extra hydrogen autos on the street?

A: Nicely, for those who take a look at my office on the R&D centre in Korea, we have already got tons of of metropolis buses working everywhere in the nation – there are just a few extra battery electrical buses, however hydrogen is out and working, and is not any drawback in any respect. Now we have additionally deployed our gasoline cell heavy obligation vans in Korea, and in addition in Switzerland and Germany, the place we have now gathered greater than eight and a half million kilometres in that fleet. After which we’re increasing to different markets, with demos in New Zealand, Israel, the Emirates and in addition in the UK.

Q: Do you see industrial autos as one of the best software for hydrogen in the mean time? And by way of scalability, how small are you able to go for it to nonetheless be justifiable?

A: One factor we do not say is that one expertise is superior to the opposite [when comparing battery and hydrogen vehicles]. All the things has its place relying on the phase and use case. We consider that city deliveries with vans as much as three and a half tonnes, perhaps even vans below seven tonnes, then battery is usually a good resolution. In case you have the time to recharge in a single day, solely driving one shift and you are not tremendous essential with payload, battery electrical is sensible. 

It is a carry over from our passenger vehicles, the place we have now super-high quantity and it is updated, with 800 volts [power system] and battery supplies. On heavy-duty autos – buses or vans – the scenario could also be totally different due to the power consumption you want in your operation. The upper weight and longer ranges you need enhance the attraction of hydrogen as a result of it has extra power density, as a result of you may carry extra power and the refuelling to get again to full cost is quicker. It is a query of minutes, not hours.

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Q: When it comes to refuelling, would Hyundai be open to having their very own hydrogen stations to assist speed up hydrogen uptake, very like Tesla did with its Supercharger community?

A: The clear message from Hyundai is that we need to faucet into the worth chain. Not solely will we construct the autos, however inside the group there are the affiliate firms which are investing in hydrogen manufacturing, compression and transportation. So we’re investigating and we’re dedicated to do our greatest in your complete worth chain to steer that to keep away from these issues you’re seeing. And it is a technique. Yeah. 

Q: And is the hydrogen plan one thing that begins in Korea after which expands from there? 

A: That is our pure habitat, so sure, however perhaps there are different related markets the place we are able to arrange the infrastructure. Speaking concerning the instance of the UK, if there isn’t a hydrogen truck, you’ll not construct infrastructure as a result of there is no uptake, but if there isn’t a infrastructure, you can’t function. It goes hand in hand. 

There’s a sturdy dedication in Korea for the federal government to spend money on infrastructure. It is a small nation with 50 million folks and we have already got 160 hydrogen refuelling stations, and it is rising. If there’s a governmental curiosity for decarbonisation, and if there may be the funding, you are able to do it, however the trade won’t ever do it alone. There should be some form of subsidy to assist set up these issues.

Q: Hyundai builds some nice electrical vehicles, so is there scope for you for producing hydrogen vehicles that will have that very same form of attraction to steer folks to change?

A: To be very sincere, will probably be buses and vans that can allow the expertise. If we concentrate on the industrial autos, then that will assist to determine the infrastructure as a result of the uptake is larger, and it’ll repay for the hydrogen infrastructure funding. If then the infrastructure is properly established, then why not use it for passenger vehicles, too?

What are your ideas on utilizing hydrogen as a gasoline? Inform us within the feedback part under…

Dean has been a part of the Auto Specific workforce for greater than 20 years, and has labored throughout almost all departments, beginning on journal manufacturing, then transferring to street assessments and opinions. He is our resident van knowledgeable, however covers every thing from scooters and motorbikes to supercars and client merchandise.


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