Hyundai Motor Co. said Friday it will provide five hydrogen-powered buses to the southern port city of Busan by October in a move to promote hydrogen-powered vehicles.
The Busan metropolitan city is planning to establish 19 hydrogen charging stations by 2022 to make 4,500 hydrogen passenger cars and 100 hydrogen buses available on the roads of the country's second-biggest city after Seoul, according to Hyundai.
As part of its plans, the Busan city aims to put the five hydrogen buses and 550 hydrogen passenger cars on roads this year.
A hydrogen fuel cell electric car is considered to be environment-friendly as it emits only water vapor as it generates electricity.
Hyundai's Nexo hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle is the only hydrogen passenger car available for local customers. It began to sell the Nexo in March last year and sold 2,625 units by July this year.
Hyundai built two highway charging stations for hydrogen vehicles in April and plans to build two more highway hydrogen chargers by September and three chargers -- one at the National Assembly in Seoul, one in eastern Seoul and one in Incheon, just west of Seoul -- within this year.
If completed, the charger at the National Assembly will be the first commercial hydrogen charging station in Seoul.
Hyundai announced in December last year that it will invest 7.6 trillion won (US$6.7 billion) in hydrogen car-producing facilities and related R&D activities by 2030.
Under the plan, the carmaker will establish two separate plants to churn out 500,000 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in 2030.
In line with Hyundai's hydrogen initiative, the central government has also increased its investments in the hydrogen charging infrastructure.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy aims to increase the number of hydrogen chargers to 86 by the end of 2019 and to 310 by 2022 from the current 21.
In January, the ministry unveiled its so-called hydrogen economy plan, which aims to use hydrogen as the main source of energy for cars instead of fossil fuel.
Over 6 million hydrogen-powered vehicles will be produced by 2040, soaring from around 2,000 units produced through 2018, the ministry said. (Yonhap)