The Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) announced yesterday that it signed an investment contract with the government of China’s Guangdong province to establish an offshore fuel cell system production facility in Guangzhou. The investment advances the Hyundai group’s global hydrogen leadership and supports its push into China’s rapidly developing hydrogen industry. 

Construction is scheduled to begin next month and is set to complete by the second half of 2022. The plant will be the Hyundai’s first fuel cell production base outside of South Korea, with the initial capacity to produce 6,500 units of fuel cell systems per year. The group will gradually increase the capacity in line with market demand.

Hyundai says that the Guangzhou plant will leverage its expertise in fuel cell system production to secure a technological leadership position in China’s hydrogen industry. HMG will manufacture the same proven fuel cell systems that are used for Hyundai’s Nexo fuel cell electric SUV at the new plant.

The Korean carmaker says that it will work with Chinese companies to participate in the Guangdong government’s hydrogen-related pilot project and initiatives. Global companies from Japan, Germany and the UK, among others, have also been working with their Chinese partners to develop tech related to FCEVs. China aims to have one million FCEVs on its roads by 2035, mainly in the commercial vehicle sector. 

In December 2018, HMG announced its “Fuel Cell Vision 2030” roadmap to reaffirm its commitment to hydrogen. As part of this plan, the group aims to produce 700,000 fuel cells annually to meet demand from various industry sectors. Hyundai was one of the early ones to dabble in FCEVs, rolling out the ix35, the world’s first mass-produced FCEV then, in 2013. The Nexo surfaced in 2018.

The group also successfully delivered the first seven units of its XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks, the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell electric heavy-duty truck, to customers in Switzerland late last year. Hyundai recently launched HTWO, a new brand for its hydrogen fuel cell system.

GALLERY: Hyundai Nexo at KLIMS18