Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas announced on March 3 that its parent company, Hyundai Construction Equipment, recently entered into an agreement with Hyundai Motors and Hyundai Mobis to develop hydrogen-fueled excavators and forklifts, with development starting this year and plans to roll out the technology as soon as 2023.
The three companies will collaborate on the technology at Hyundai’s Mabuk Research Center in Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea. According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed by all parties, 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 the excavators and forklifts incorporating the technology.
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, which means there are no toxic emissions polluting the air. In addition, compared with lithium-battery-powered electric machines, hydrogen fuel cells are especially compatible with the power demands associated with large construction equipment because it is easier to expand the capacity of hydrogen fuel cells.
Hwang Jong-hyun, head of the R&D Division for Hyundai Construction Equipment and Hyundai Material Handling, 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 standard for 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.”
Stan Park, vice president, Distribution and Marketing, Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas, said, “Being part of the Hyundai team that will lead the future of hydrogen-powered equipment globally is a great honor. We look forward to introducing this important forward-looking technology to customers across North America who are interested in clean, alternative fuel sources.”