Hyundai Motor Company is partnering with Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC), Air Liquide Korea and Hydrogen Energy Network (HyNet) to establish a hydrogen refueling station for fuel cell electric buses at Incheon Airport’s Terminal 2 by March 2021.
Hyundai will support the construction cost of the hydrogen refueling station while providing up to 12 fuel cell electric buses as well as their maintenance and service. Incheon International Airport will provide a site for the station and Hydrogen Energy Network will handle its construction and operation. Air Liquide Korea will provide two high-capacity hydrogen chargers and supply hydrogen gas.
Hyundai fuel cell bus
Over the next five years, Hyundai’s hydrogen-powered buses will gradually replace Incheon Airport’s current fleet of internal combustion engine buses that shuttle between the terminals, long-term parking lots and logistics complex. The first batch of seven fuel cell electric buses will go into operation in the second half of this year, followed by three to five buses entering service annually.
We expect Incheon International Airport to emerge as the world’s leading eco-friendly airport with the new hydrogen refuelling station and introduction of fuel cell electric buses. The partnership across industries will be a stepping stone in bringing the hydrogen economy closer to daily lives. Hyundai Motor will continue to explore various ways to accelerate the hydrogen economy.
—Seong Kwon Han, President and Head of Commercial Vehicles Division at Hyundai Motor Company
The partnership is part of Korea’s Ministry of Environment’s project to install hydrogen refueling stations and subsidize privately financed infrastructure projects.
Hyundai Motor established a dedicated research team for hydrogen fuel cells in 1998 and in 2013 became the first global automaker to produce fuel cell electric vehicles commercially. The company first introduced its fuel cell electric buses for daily operation during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Since then, the company has supplied the buses to major cities in Korea—Busan, Changwon, and Ulsan—as well the Korean National Police Agency.
In September 2019, Hyundai and Cummins Inc. entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) jointly to evaluate opportunities to develop and commercialize electric and fuel cell powertrains. (Earlier post.)