Ulsan, South Korea. Hyundai Construction Equipment recently decided to join forces with Hyundai Motor Group to develop the world’s first hydrogen-powered construction equipment. Last February, Hyundai Construction Equipment signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the joint-development of hydrogen fuel cell construction equipment with Hyundai Motors and Hyundai Mobis at its Mabuk Research Center in Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do. Together, the three companies will look to develop hydrogen-powered forklifts and medium/large-capacity hydrogen-powered excavators over the next few years.
According to the MOU, Hyundai Motors and Hyundai Mobis will design and manufacture hydrogen fuel cell systems, including power packs, while Hyundai Construction Equipment will design, manufacture, and evaluate the performance of excavators and forklifts. The target date for mass production and distribution has been set to 2023.
Unlike conventional diesel engine-based equipment, hydrogen-based electric construction equipment uses electricity produced through the chemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen as its power source, meaning no emissions of toxic gases into the air. Given the rapidly rising demand for eco-friendly equipment around the world in recent years, hydrogen-based construction equipment is expected to help Hyundai Construction Equipment compete in the global construction market moving forward.
Furthermore, compared to lithium batteries, which have been marred by structural issues limiting various attempts to increase battery capacity, hydrogen fuel cells are much easier to expand, making them a much more logical choice for large forklifts or excavators.
The partnership between Hyundai Construction Equipment, which has more than 540 dealers across more than 140 countries around the world, and Hyundai Motors, which has some of the best hydrogen fuel cell technology in the world, is expected to give the construction equipment industry a boost in terms of creating a hydrogen-based ecosystem, which is something all industry stakeholders are anticipating eagerly.
Hwang Jong-hyun, Head of the R&D Division for Hyundai Material Handling at Hyundai Construction Equipment, said, “With this latest agreement, we’ve prepared a foundation upon which we can secure core technology in hydrogen-powered construction equipment ahead of our competitors. Hyundai Construction Equipment will do its very best to meet the challenges that lie ahead as countries around the world attempt to establish global standards in terms of certifying the performance of equipment and legislating relevant laws for the commercialization of hydrogen-powered construction equipment, and play a leading role in the market moving forward.”
Meanwhile, Hyundai Construction Equipment has continued to focus on developing eco-friendly construction equipment and machinery in recent years. It mass-produced the first reel-type electric excavator (wired-type equipment used with its power cable plugged in) in 2010, and in 2018, developed a small electric excavator equipped with a large capacity battery for the first time in Korea.
From left to right:
i. Kim Seung-han, Head of Development Center, (R&D, Vice President) at Hyundai Construction Equipment
ii. Geum Yeong-beom, head of the Fuel Cell Business Division (executive director) at Hyundai Mobis
iii. Hwang Jong-hyeon, director of the Hyundai Material handling R&D Department (Vice President) at Hyundai Construction Equipment;
iv. Park Soon-chan, head of the Fuel Cell Business Division (executive director) at Hyundai Motor Company
Photos: HCE – Hyundai Mobis – Hyundai Motor Group
Hyundai Construction Equipment Europe is a widely recognized leader in the European construction equipment market. Through highly advanced factory automation, a zero-tolerance quality control inspection system and innovative engineering we offer a wide range of construction equipment to satisfy the demands of our customers. We manufacture heavy equipment for our Construction Equipment business unit including hydraulic excavators, wheel loaders and skid steer loaders. Through our Material Handling business unit we offer a wide range of forklifts (including LPG, electric and diesel powered lift trucks) & warehouse equipment to satisfy customers’ ever-growing demands. HCEE markets its products through a qualified network of over 140 dealers in more than 30 countries. For additional information, please visit www.hyundai-ce.eu
Hyundai Construction Equipment Europe PR Coordinator UK
Tina Boënne Louise Carney
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