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Hyundai Expands its Hydrogen Tech - Produced Hydrogen-Powered Forklift

Hyundai Mobis released its latest Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Commercial Forklift in conjunction with Hyundai Motors and Hyundai Construction Machinery.
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Hydrogen Fuel Cell tech is beginning to get traction, and Hyundai is behind the development. More specifically, Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai Motors, and Hyundai Construction Machinery. The three companies (all under the Hyundai umbrella) joined to create the first large heavy-duty hydrogen-powered forklift, info courtesy of Business Korea.

Hyundai Hydrogen-Powered Forklift

Testing for the forklift will occur in early 2021 in a regulation-free special zone in Ulsan, as it is still under development and in its prototype phase. The plan is to bring it into commercial use by 2023. A smaller hydrogen-powered forklift got released before; however, this is the first heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell forklift capable of lifting five tons of cargo and operates for up to five hours after fully charged with hydrogen.

Hydrogen-Powered Forklift Specs

Hyundai Motor Group developed the hydrogen fuel cell system, and I have reported Hyundai’s applications and goals with hydrogen numerous times. Still, more will get released on this forklift at a later date. But we know Hyundai Motor Group has a hydrogen fuel cell system that is ready for mass production. After all, Hyundai has the Nexo, commercial trucks, and even hydrogen-powered generators. Hyundai Mobis developed a fuel cell pack bespoke for the hydrogen forklift and optimized for its intended use.

The power pack made by Hyundai Mobis creates electricity by itself and works with the fuel cell stack, high-voltage batteries, a hydrogen tank, and a cooling system. The hydrogen fuel cell system made for automobiles cannot be used for the forklift, so tech from all three of Hyundai’s companies had to come together to make this happen.

Hyundai Mobis has had the capability to mass-produce hydrogen fuel cell systems since 2017, but was looking for an opportunity to expand and now has that opportunity. Hyundai Mobis can currently produce 23,000 units annually but plans to expand to 40,000 units annually by 2023.

Hyundai Hydrogen-Powered Forklift Conclusions

Although the forklift is still in its prototype stage and we don’t have much information about it, we know Hyundai is gradually increasing its influence of EVs and hydrogen fuel cell tech. This tech will affect our personal consumer lives, but Hyundai plans to implement its zero-emission goal commercially and a “greener” future by 2025. And 2021 is already around the corner.

Read more Hyundai stories here.

Kevin Meyn is an automotive journalist for Torque News concentrating on Hyundai content. Kevin is the founder of Exhaust Sports Auto Youtube channel, where he does professional car reviews on new and used vehicles. Through the use of various resources and extended Automotive expertise, Kevin documents the latest in automotive news revolving around Hyundai. Kevin graduated from NC State University studying Supply Chain Management but has had a passion for cars since he was a child. Follow Kevin on Twitter and Instagram @exhaustsports.


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Comments

While I like hydrogen vehicles, and applaud Hyundai's efforts to support fuel cell vehicles, I wonder how and where fuel cell forklifts would excel over today's popular battery powered and propane powered models. Hydrogen supply infrastructure is still FCEV's weakest link right now. But maybe Hyundai has a plan to help there too? I think that the biggest solution to FCEV's success is to build plug-in hybrid FCEVs, which will provide the convenience of electric recharging batteries, with the fast refueling and extended range capability of fuel cells.