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CES 2024: Hyundai has high hopes for hydrogen – even in the U.S.

At CES 2024, Hyundai detailed its vision of the future, in which hydrogen powers everything from heavy equipment to home generators.

Plugging in a 2023 Hyundai Nexo at a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) stationImage credit: Hyundai

After a couple of failed attempts to sell the Toyota Mirai and the Honda Clarity, it’s safe to say the hydrogen-based fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) hasn’t taken off here in the U.S. It doesn’t help that the only fueling stations are in California, where both the Mirai and the more recent Hyundai Nexo are exclusively sold, and that the infrastructure is otherwise nonexistent in the rest of the country. Still, Hyundai has big plans for hydrogen, including using it to power homes and businesses.

The Korean automaker said its hydrogen solutions include commercial trucks and buses, trams, heavy equipment, ships, generators, and air mobility. FCEVs use the element to generate electricity, which can then power an electric motor. Where burning fossil fuels creates carbon and all sorts of nasty emissions, water is the only byproduct of using hydrogen to generate electricity.

As part of its growth strategy, the automaker will bolster its supply chains and expand its control over “production, storage, transportation, and utilization.” Hyundai said it has affiliates across the supply chain, which gives it the ability to develop more tailored hydrogen solutions. It believes this structure will accelerate hydrogen adoption and improve technology. Hyundai is also working on capturing hydrogen from environmental pollutants, utilizing plastics that can’t be recycled as well as organic materials like food waste, livestock manure, and more. 

While Hyundai is testing its hydrogen ambitions in other countries, in the States, it’s using the technology to help build its next EV factory. The Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America in Georgia is under construction and will employ the automaker’s Clean Logistics Project, which focuses on building hydrogen infrastructure and supply chains. Once it’s up and running, the factory will also use Xcient Fuel Cell tractors to manage logistics as it heads toward its goal of producing 300,000 EVs annually.

Author

  • Chris Teague

Chris Teague
the authorChris Teague