It is testing hydrogen fuel cell electric cars and trucks of various types to promote this renewable energy.
South Korea has announced that it is testing the use of commercial H2 vehicles as it transitions toward greater use of hydrogen as a primary renewable energy source.
The fourth largest economy in Asia is hoping to expand the use of this renewable energy source.
The South Korean government has signed two independent memoranda of understanding (MOU) with Hyundai Motor Co as well as other companies relating to hydrogen fuel. The purpose of the pilot program is to test the durability of the taxies and trucks, said the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The Korea Automotive Technology Institute is among the organizations signed on under the MOU. Through that MOU, Hyundai will be testing commercial H2 vehicles such as a 5-ton hydrogen-powered garbage truck. That truck will operate in Changwon, which is located about 250 miles south of Seoul, explained Hyundai in a statement.
The commercial H2 vehicles will be tested through 2021 before a wider hydrogen fuel cell trucks rollout.
As a broader part of the plan, Hyundai intends to construct a hydrogen charging station for large hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Changwon later in 2020. This will provide a location in which the pilot trucks will be able to refuel. The 5-ton hydrogen truck has a 372-mile range on a single charge when traveling at 37 miles per hour (60 km/hr).
The automaker’s goal is to gradually replace the existing conventional vehicles with those powered by hydrogen fuel.
The ministry’s other MOU includes both the Korea Automotive Technology Institute as well as two taxi companies based in Seoul. In that agreement, Hyundai will be providing 10 of its Nexo cars, powered by hydrogen fuel, to the two taxi operators for durability tests. This isn’t the first pilot of its nature, as 10 other Nexo cars were trialled last September when the National Assembly in Seoul opened a hydrogen charging station.
This pilot of various commercial H2 vehicles is only the latest step by Hyundai Motor Group into cars and trucks powered by forms of renewable energy or zero-emission fuel.