The company is targeting to begin mass production of fuel cells at the plants in the second half of 2023


Hyundai Mobis will build two more fuel cell plants in South Korea. (Credit: HYUNDAI MOBIS)

Automotive supplier Hyundai Mobis said that it will invest KRW1.3 trillion ($1.1bn) to build two fuel cell plants in South Korea.

The South Korean firm has already broken ground on one of the plants located at the Industrial Complex in Cheongna International City, Incheon.

The company’s Incheon plant will produce hydrogen fuel cell stacks. Its groundbreaking ceremony was attended by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Deputy Prime Minister Hong Nam-ki.

The second new plant will be built at Ulsan.

Hyundai Mobis is targeting to begin mass production of fuel cells at the new plants in the second half of 2023. After they become fully operational, the two plants are anticipated to produce 100,000 hydrogen fuel cells annually.

Hyundai Mobis president and CEO Sung Hwan Cho said: “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.”

The company will increase its count of fuel cells plants to three after the completion of the Incheon and Ulsan facilities.

Once the two new plants become operational, Hyundai Mobis will pursue expansion of its production line-ups for fuel cell systems, while diversifying its hydrogen business.

Nearly three years ago, the South Korean firm established its first fuel cell plant, which has been built in Chungju. The plant is designed to produce nearly 23,000 hydrogen cell systems annually.

Most of the fuel cell systems produced by the company are used in fuel cell electric vehicles (EVs). The company expects to ramp up its business to other sectors such as logistics equipment and construction machinery.

In 2020, Hyundai Mobis had developed fuel cell power packs designed to be used in hydrogen forklifts for the construction industry. The hydrogen power packs used in forklifts generate electricity on their own by integrating a fuel cell stack, a hydrogen tank, and a cooling device.

Currently, the South Korean firm is developing power packs for hydrogen-fuelled excavator and intends to enlarge the fuel cell systems for their use in small air mobility.

In July this year, its parent firm Hyundai Motor Group announced a partnership with LG Energy Solution Hyundai Motor to invest $1.1bn towards a new EV battery plant in Indonesia.