It’s good that Hyundai is not canceling its development of hydrogen vehicles
As Hyundai officials told the South Korean business newspaper Maeil Company, the report published by The Chosun IIbo is false, and the company continues to develop fuel cell vehicles, as well as the electrification of the Genesis fleet.
Just a few months ago, Hyundai introduced a plan called Vision 2040, which also featured hydrogen vehicles in addition to electric vehicles. The Korean brand is already working on the third generation of its fuel cell, and the technology is rumored to be featured in an unnamed Genesis 2025 hydrogen vehicle.
Despite what Elon Musk thinks about hydrogen, the technology is there and it can work as an alternative in a number of ways. While the South African-born billionaire’s vision for this alternative fuel is understandable when you consider that he’s banking on electricity, it’s easy to see where FCEVs may be more suited to EVs, as well as other uses of hydrogen.
Musk’s opinion on the hydrogen issue is shared by VW CEO Herbert Diess, but the German leader of the country’s largest auto conglomerate is driven by the belief that hydrogen is better suited for others. industries. Diess described hydrogen as “far too expensive, inefficient, slow, and difficult to deploy and transport.”
Companies like BMW, Daimler, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai take a different view, as each has experimented with hydrogen in one form or another and deployed hydrogen vehicles in one way or another. Mazda and GM have also experimented with hydrogen, and the list doesn’t end there.
Hydrogen vehicles are currently facing a big setback in the form of a limited network of service stations. These cannot be implemented in the same way as VE charging stations, because they require some additional precautions to ensure the safety of users and those around them.
The operation of fuel cell vehicles involves a small battery, which cannot be recharged from a socket, such as a PHEV, there is therefore no chance of rolling an FCEV once its hydrogen tank is empty.
Another problem with hydrogen has to do with the way it is obtained, because not all hydrogen is green hydrogen. Although expensive, the most common sources of hydrogen involve the petroleum industry and fossil fuels, which is only acceptable if you want to prove the concept of hydrogen functioning as a fuel but not sustainable in the industry. ‘to come up.
With the facts set out above, you should consider it great news that the Hyundai Group will not be focusing solely on electric power in the future. It could be a risky strategy if a breakthrough in hydrogen technology emerges, and it would mean that everything they have accomplished in this area has been wasted.
Think of the GM EV1, which was ahead of its time and could have made the American company a leader in electric vehicle technology but was killed.
The abandonment of technology is rarely good news for an industry, except when the technology is bad for the environment, unsustainable, or is replaced by something superior in many ways. In the case of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, they can be alternatives to electric vehicles in situations where large tanks can be installed and higher ranges are needed, and this is only a scenario of use.
Think about public transport: instead of having to recharge a fleet of tens or hundreds of electric buses, they could be recharged with hydrogen and operate without emissions and without pressure on the electricity grid. Since they can fit large tanks under their floors, buses are ideally suited to using hydrogen, and bulky and expensive batteries will not be needed for them.
The same goes for trucks, which take predictable routes for most of their useful life. In the case of personal vehicles, hydrogen technology can still be used, as it is today, as it can be a zero emission alternative to electric vehicles.
The worst thing that could happen to the auto industry would be putting horse glasses on their engineers’ heads and focusing on nothing but electric vehicles. No one will find a better technology if no one looks for alternatives.