SEOUL -- South Korea's Hyundai auto group has secured state approval to produce fuel cells in China. To cope with competition with foreign companies in China's fast-growing hydrogen market, the group has established distribution networks in the world's second-largest economy in cooperation with regional partners.
The green light came from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, which approved Hyundai's application to build a fuel cell system plant in Guangzhou, a port city northwest of Hong Kong. Exports of national core technologies require approval to prevent technology leakage. Hyundai aims to manufacture fuel cells in South Korea and assemble them in China.
In December 2020, Hyundai introduced its hydrogen fuel cell system brand, HTWO, vowing to develop a next-generation hydrogen fuel cell system that can be applied to automobiles, vessels and trains. The auto group has modified its Xcient truck to produce a fuel cell model capable of delivering a travel range of about 400 kilometers (248 miles) on a single charge.
By 2030, Hyundai aims to sell 25,000 fuel cell trucks in Europe, 12,000 in the United States and 27,000 in China. Hyundai has partnered with Cummins Inc., an American engine maker, to develop electric and fuel cell powertrains initially for the North American commercial vehicle market and explore ways to develop next-generation fuel cell systems. Collaboration may extend beyond the commercial vehicle market as the two companies will evaluate the development of fuel cell power generators.
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