Korea will invest 2.6 trillion won (US$2.34 billion) by 2022 to develop hydrogen-fueled cars and related infrastructure, boosting sales of the eco-friendly vehicles, the Industry Ministry said on June 25.
The ministry said it aims to supply about 16,000 hydrogen vehicles and 310 charging stations nationwide by 2022 to tackle air pollution problems and promote next-generation cars.
Local carmakers have released a series of fuel cell lineups in recent years, but demand remains feeble in the domestic market due in large part to a lack of charging stations.
“Korea has big potential to get ahead in the eco-friendly vehicle market, but there was a lack of an encompassing policy for the hydrogen vehicles and a nationwide charging infrastructure,” Minister Paik Un-gyu said in a meeting with representatives from local automakers and related organizations.
“The government will provide full support for hydrogen vehicle makers by establishing an industry ecosystem covering hydrogen vehicles, charging stations and fuel.”
To facilitate research and development efforts, the ministry, local automakers and state-run utilities companies have agreed to establish a special purpose company by November to help overcome business hurdles for the emerging vehicle market.
Under the agreement, leading automaker Hyundai Motor state-run Korea Gas Corporation and other companies will work together to install hydrogen fueling stations in major cities and on highways.
The state-run Korea Express Corp. and Hyundai Motor will work together to install eight hydrogen charging stations on highways with heavy traffic and 10 more in Seoul and other major cities.
The ministry said it will revise regulations for a stable supply of hydrogen fuel and establish a distribution center by next year, paving the way for the mass commercialization of the eco-friendly vehicles.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org