Hyundai is not saying goodbye to hydrogen fuel cells or ICEs


It’s been a busy week for Hyundai, who had to refute claims it was breaking up with hydrogen. This week, we saw yet another claim by an “industry insider” that Hyundai had suspended their R&D in 3rd generation hydrogen fuelcells.

An article by Korean news outlet Chosun Biz claimed that Hyundai had suspended R&D in 3rd generation hydrogen fuel cells due to technical problems and a lack of marketability.

That’s apparently not true; an unnamed Hyundai Motor official issued a statement today to the Korea Times refuting the claim:

The hydrogen FCEV project has not been halted but rather delayed, as it encountered some difficulties during research, but Hyundai has been and will continue to develop hydrogen FCEVs.

No, Hyundai is not closing down its ICE development either

The hydrogen news was hot on the heels of the claim that Hyundai was closing down its Internal Combustion Engine R&D and moving the 12,000-odd staff to electric vehicle departments.

Just a few hours ago, an e-mail sent to Motor1.com from Senior Group Manager at Hyundai Motor America, Michael Stewart, said:

Hyundai Motor Group can confirm that it is not halting the development of its engines following recent media speculation. The Group is dedicated to providing a strong portfolio of powertrains to global customers, including a combination of highly efficient engines and zero-emissions electric motors.

Inaccurate media stories have consequences

Honestly, I’m starting to wonder if these industry insiders are paying fans of rival companies looking to cause affray.

In the case of the hydrogen claim, investors reacted adversely to the news. According to The Korea Times, companies affiliated with Hyundai and/or working on fuel cell tech saw share prices drop by 4%-10% following the report.

It looks like investors are taking their cues from the media, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Shouldn’t they be paying analysts for a more long-term vision?

Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell dream is evolving — albeit slowly

In 2018, the South Korean government and Hyundai set an annual production goal of 130,000 hydrogen cars by 2025′ and ‘80,000 hydrogen cars sold by 2022. So far, retail sales are not even close anywhere in the world.