Euisun Chung, Hyundai chairman, said the new fuel-cell plant in China is an important part of the company’s long-term strategy.

Hyundai Motor Group broke ground in Guangdong Province in China for the company’s first fuel-cell system plant beyond the borders of group’s home base in South Korea as it expands its fuel cell business.

The investment in Guangdong advances Hyundai’s global hydrogen leadership and supports its push into China’s rapidly developing hydrogen industry, Hyundai executives said. The company established a dedicated fuel-cell brand, HTWO, in December as part its fuel-cell leadership strategy.

“The establishment of HTWO Guangzhou marks an important starting point for Hyundai Motor Group’s dedicated fuel cell system brand HTWO,” Chairman Euisun Chung said in a statement.

“Hyundai Motor Group will actively lead clean mobility innovations using its strategic partnerships, world-class technology, hydrogen business capabilities and related expertise.”

Chung pushes for hydrogen leadership

Hyundai fuel cell plant rendering in China

Hyundai is building fuel-cell plant in China. Officials say it will begin production next year.

Chung said Hyundai’s goal is to lead in realizing carbon neutrality by strengthening production of hydrogen fuel-cell systems, making them available as power sources for various industries. It’s a message he delivered to employees at the start of the new year.

The new center for production and sales of Hyundai fuel-cell technology carries the name “HTWO Guangzhou” in line with the name of its dedicated fuel cell system brand. HTWO stands for “H2,” the hydrogen molecule. It also represents “Hydrogen” and “Humanity,” the main pillars of the group’s fuel-cell business, Hyundai officials said.

The HTWO Guangzhou plant will be built in the Guangzhou development district of Guangdong Province, China, and is slated for completion in the second half of 2022.

Production starts in 2022

The initial annual production target for the facility is 6,500 units, with a goal to gradually expand production capacity in line with Chinese market conditions and policies of the Chinese government.

Hyundai Nexo

Hyundai introduced the new Nexo fuel-cell electric at CES with Aurora Innovation CEO Chris Urmson, left, and Ki Sang-Lee, Hyundai vice president.

Fuel cells work like batteries and can produce electricity and heat as long as fuel such as hydrogen is supplied.

Part of the company’s long-term strategy

The automaker’s been on the leading edge of fuel-cell technology for much of the last decade. It was the first to introduce a viable fuel cell-powered vehicle, the 2014 Tucson FCEV, that could actually be purchase ­— actually leased for $499 a month — by the general public. The company added to that with additional vehicles, like the Nexo.

That has grown into substantive strategic effort for the company, which announced plans more than two years ago to expand its supply capacity to 700,000 hydrogen fuel cell systems annually before the end of the decade as part of its “Fuel Cell Vision 2030” strategy.

Through strategic partnerships with hydrogen, energy and logistics companies around the world, Hyundai has expanded its fuel cell system business with initial focus on major hub regions — Korea, Europe, China and the U.S.

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