Hyundai multiplies production capacity for H2 buses

Hyundai has increased the production capacity for hydrogen buses at its plant in Jeonju, South Korea, six-fold from 500 units in 2023 to 3,000 units in 2024. The company is South Korea's only manufacturer of hydrogen buses.

Image: Hyundai

According to local media reports, the expansion is part of the latest modernization step of the plant. The plant in Jeonju explicitly serves as a production centre for buses and other large commercial vehicles. According to reports, the expansion of production capacity is primarily due to an increase in state subsidies: Against the backdrop of competition from China, South Korea’s Ministry of the Environment is subsidizing more than twice as many hydrogen buses this year as last year, namely 1,720 compared to 700 in 2023.

The South Korean company was probably alarmed by the fact that sales of electric buses manufactured in China exceeded sales of domestically produced buses for the first time in 2023. According to the Pulse News portal, Chinese buses are over 100 million won cheaper than their Korean counterparts, which equates to just under 70,000 euros.

In South Korea, hydrogen-powered buses are usually procured by transportation companies with subsidies from both the central and local governments. According to the national Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Hyundai Motor sold around 370 fuel cell buses in the country in 2023.

The expansion of production fits in with the overall strategy of the Hyundai Motor Group, which announced just a few weeks ago that it intends to invest massively in South Korea over the next three years – including in electric vehicles. Among other things, the Group plans to hire 80,000 employees and invest 68 trillion won, the equivalent of around 47 billion euros. In this context, the Group also mentioned its intention to “further accelerate the development of next-generation fuel cell systems, hydrogen buses and trucks and the construction of hydrogen stations”. However, no new fuel cell cars were mentioned.


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