(ATTN: ADDS 1st photo and Hyundai Motor Group executive vice chairman's comment in 14th para)
SEOUL, July 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Wednesday opened the world's first hydrogen mobility show as it pushes to become a leader in hydrogen vehicles and other related industries.
More than 100 companies and research institutions of 11 countries participated in the H2 Mobility+Energy Show at an exhibition center in Ilsan, just north of Seoul, to discuss ways to spread hydrogen energy and seek hydrogen-related business opportunities, according to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association, which hosted the hydrogen show.
In the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said the government will provide subsidies to consumers to boost hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles and hydrogen-related businesses. No details were given.
South Korea has been pushing to reduce its reliance on conventional energy sources such as fossil fuels and move toward sustainable resources like hydrogen, sunlight and wind.
The government aims to produce hydrogen energy by utilizing more than 30 percent of the extra electricity generated based on renewable energy sources from 2040, the prime minister said.
A hydrogen fuel cell electric car only releases water vapor as it converts stored hydrogen into electricity to turn the motor.
Hydrogen can be produced by processing liquefied natural gas or as a by-product of industrial facilities, including petrochemical plants.
South Korea aims to more than double its share of the world's all-electric and hydrogen-powered vehicle market to 10 percent by 2030.
To help spread zero-emission and autonomous cars across the country, the government plans to inject 2.2 trillion won (US$1.9 billion) by 2030, with a plan to have the private sector separately invest 60 trillion won in future vehicles, related technologies and facilities.
Hyundai Motor Group will take up 41 trillion won, or 68 percent of the 60 trillion won, under the government-led future mobility plan, the trade ministry said.
In 2018, Hyundai Motor Group announced that it will invest 7.6 trillion won in hydrogen car-producing facilities and related R&D activities by 2030.
Under the plan, the group plans to churn out 500,000 hydrogen vehicles in 2030.
In the show, Hyundai displayed the Nexo hydrogen fuel-cell EV and the hydrogen-powered truck concept "Neptune," which was unveiled at the 2019 North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta in November.
Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun said Wednesday the company is planning to launch the next version of the Nexo in three to four years. He attended the government-led 1st hydrogen economy committee meeting held on the sidelines of the exhibition.
Hyundai said it aims to develop a fuel-cell system for large EV trucks and launch the models in the markets within the next three to four years.
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