See More on Facebook

Analysis, Business

Korea to produce 6.2 million hydrogen cars by 2040

President Moon stresses government’s determination to make transition to a hydrogen economy.


Written by

Updated: January 18, 2019

South Korea will produce 6.2 million units of fuel cell electric vehicles and build 1,200 refilling stations across the country by 2040, in a major industrial push aimed at securing energy independence and assuming a leadership role in hydrogen technology.

The Seoul government will also support the industrial and domestic use of fuel cells for electricity and develop ships, trains and construction machinery powered by hydrogen, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement.In its road map announced Thursday, the government said it would diversify the hydrogen supply portfolio, increase the supply volume to 5.26 million tons in the next 20 years and lower the market price of the energy source to less than 3,000 won per kilogram.

The road map was announced in Ulsan, a southeastern industrial city with President Moon Jae-in in attendance.

According to the plan, the number of hydrogen-powered vehicles in the country will reach 80,000 in less than four years and 1.8 million by 2030.

The government will start providing subsidies for fuel-cell electric taxis and trucks while working with local governments to increase the number of fuel-cell electric buses to 2,000 by 2022. It also plans to start replacing all 820 police buses with fuel-cell electric buses in 2021.

The subsidies, the government believes, will drive up production capacity and lower costs to around 30 million won, half the price of an FCEV sold on today’s market, by 2025.

Stressing the government’s determination to pursue a hydrogen economy, President Moon said fuel cell technology would lead the country’s future growth.

“For us, it is a golden opportunity that could fundamentally transform the state energy system and secure new growth engines (at the same time),” said Moon.

“We can take the lead in (creating) a hydrogen economy by connecting (the technology) with traditional manufacturing sectors including the auto, shipping and petrochemical industries.”

The rationale behind the Korean government’s rather drastic hydrogen economy plans lies in the strong potential of hydrogen fuel to create new jobs and revive sluggish manufacturing businesses, including small and medium-sized companies. The aim of the government’s road map is to bring in fresh investment and create jobs in traditional industries such as steel production, petrochemicals and mechanical engineering, according to industry watchers.

By 2040, the government expects to generate 43 trillion won worth of added value a year and create 420,000 new jobs in the market.

Korea’s shift toward hydrogen as an energy source is also based on hopes of decarbonizing the country’s entire transportation fleet and reducing its heavy reliance on imported oil. The country relies on oil imports from the Middle East for most of its energy needs.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy is among a few countries vying to secure the top position in hydrogen technology.

Both China and the US have set their 2030 targets for hydrogen vehicles at 1 million, while Japan plans to provide 800,000 FCEVs across the country in the same year.

Korea’s Energy Ministry believes the country could become a first mover in hydrogen technology, overtaking competitors such as the US and China.

“We have world-class technology for hydrogen cars and fuel cells and also have (a significant) production capacity for hydrogen byproducts from petrochemical complexes as well as a (strong) supply network for natural gas across the country,” said Vice Energy Minister Jeong Seung-il.

Both mass production and the goals in the road map are feasible, he asserted.

Ulsan, where the announcement was made, is home to major petrochemical and auto manufacturing complexes as well as to the Korean auto giant Hyundai Motor. The carmaker takes the lead in the hydrogen car market with the Nexo, which can go up to 609 kilometers on a single charge, giving it the longest range in the world for a green car



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: ANN’s Board member Mr Zaffar Abbas, Editor of Pakistan’s Dawn has won the 2019 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protest Journalists.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Analysis, Business

North Korea beefs up self-defense capabilities in military reorganization

The North have been making many changes ahead of talks. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over a meeting of the top military decision-making body to accelerate the development of self-defense capabilities ahead of key events that will decide its national strategy, its state media reported Sunday. Discussions on ways to bolster its military capabilities through organizational restructuring and personnel reshuffle were highlighted during the third expanded meeting of the seventh central military commission of the ruling Workers’ Party. Details on what measures were discussed were not disclosed. “At the meeting, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un


By Zaffar Abbas
December 23, 2019

Analysis, Business

India, China step up the wooing but Rajapaksa in no hurry to align Sri Lanka

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will try to balance the competing interests of China, India in the region. The conversation in regional capitals after the emphatic win of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the Sri Lankan elections last month centres around a central question: Will he manage to pull a Sheikh Hasina on India and China? The reference, of course, is to the Bangladesh Prime Minister who many believe has managed to successfully push her country’s interests by balancing the competing strategic ambitions of China and India in South Asia. And Rajapaksa knows a thing or two about protecting what he believes are his country’s core interests. After all, he braved the Western world’s intense criticism – and India’s acute discomfort given its large domestic Tamil population – of the means adopted by him as Defence Minister in his brother and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s


By Ishan Joshi
December 12, 2019

Analysis, Business

Nepal moves up in Human Development Index but still lags behind in South Asia

Nepal’s human development index of 0,579 indicates that people are living longer, are more educated and have greater incomes, according to the Human Development Report. Despite global progress in tackling poverty, hunger and disease, a ‘new generation of inequalities’ indicates that many societies are not working as they should and Nepal is not an exception, according to a new human development report released on Tuesday. The old inequalities were based on access to health services and education whereas the new generation of inequalities is based on technology, education and the climate, according to the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report. “Previously, we talked about wealth as a major driver for inequality. Now, countries like Nepal are in another inequality trap and that concerns


By The Kathmandu Post
December 12, 2019

Analysis, Business

Is polarisation driven by Hyper Information Disorder Syndrome?

In a study of Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Poland, Turkey and the US, writes ANDREW SHENG, scientists attribute populism to the rise of decisive leaders who push nationalism, demonise opponents and stir up issues that further divide societies. BANGKOK – Mass protests seem to be breaking out all over the place, from Hong Kong to Santiago, Tehran, Bolivia, Catalonia, Ecuador, France and Iraq to Lebanon.  The root causes of these protests have many local reasons, but there are common themes, such as inequality, corruption, incompetent governments, rural-urban migration, demography, anger, social media and demand for change. But underlying all these protests is the growing polarization of societies, increasingly manifested in viol


By Asia News Network
December 9, 2019

Analysis, Business

Huawei asks US court to overturn ban

The company is suing the FCC, the latest in a series of legal tussles. The legal battle between Huawei Technologies Co and United States government intensified on Thursday. The Chinese tech heavyweight announced a legal challenge to the US Federal Communications Commission, seeking to overturn the latter’s order that bans telecom carriers from buying the company’s equipment via federal subsidies. The move is the latest push by the world’s largest telecom equipment maker to pursue fair competition and treatment amid a slate of restrictions from Washington. Analysts said the FCC ban would have very limited impact on Huawei’s financial performance, but labeling the company as a national security threat would cause far-reaching reputational harm. In a petition filed in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday, Huawei asked the court to declare the FCC order un


By Esther Ng
December 6, 2019

Analysis, Business

Rohingya Crisis Fallout

Transparency International Bangladesh has painted a grim outlook for the crisis. Bangladesh faces long-term financial, political and security challenges as Rohingya repatriation may not happen anytime soon, said Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman. The fund from the international community for nearly one million Rohingyas may not sustain as no strong international initiative has been taken to oblige Myanmar for creating a conducive environment for the refugees to return soon, he said. “As a result, Bangladesh’s socio-economic instability will grow. There are risks of security at local and national levels. The crisis also creates political and diplomatic challenges for the government,” Iftekharuzzaman said. It also involves the risks of growing extremism as the people who face violence are more likely to become violent, he said at a press confere


By Daily Star
December 6, 2019