China Outpaces Korea in Hydrogen Vehicle Market


Korea Joongang Daily


Even in the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles game, Korea is losing its share to China.

Korea, traditionally the No. 1 player, registered a total of 4,631 hydrogen-powered vehicle sales last year, down 55.2 percent on year, according to data from SNE Research.

It held 32 percent of the world’s hydrogen vehicle market compared to 2022’s 49.9 percent.

During the same period, China sold 5,600 hydrogen cars globally last year, up 2.8 percent on year to claim 38.8 percent of the global market.

China only held 26.3 percent of the share in 2022.

The rankings change comes as sales of Hyundai Motor’s Nexo hydrogen-powered SUV plunged last year, with the company selling a total of 5,012 Nexo SUVs and Elec City buses, down 56 percent on year.

Of them, 4,709 were Nexo SUVs, compared to 11,179 sales in 2022.

Hyundai lost its No. 1 hydrogen car maker title to China Comercial which sold a total of 5,362 hydrogen cars last year and grabbed 37.1 percent of the market. Hyundai’s market share dropped to 34.7 percent last year from 54.8 percent in 2022.

Hyundai initially planned to introduce an upgraded Nexo in 2023 but the launch has been postponed to 2025.

Genesis also said it will release a hydrogen model, but the plan has been delayed indefinitely.

“Hydrogen cars inevitably lose popularity due to the high charging cost and lack of infrastructure,” SNE Research said in a report. “But the Chinese government is accelerating its shift to hydrogen energy with an aggressive plan to expand sales and build infrastructure.”

The Chinese government announced last year that it aims to produce 1 million units by the end of 2035, with a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

Korea is scrambling to expand hydrogen vehicle sales by introducing a new policy that cuts the price of cars by half.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said in early February that it would subsidize 32.5 million won ($24,000) for purchases of Hyundai’s Nexo, whose price starts from 69.5 million won.

Additionally, purchasers will be exempt from taxes up to 6.6 million won and tolls at Namsan Tunnels while also receiving 50-percent discounts on public parking fees and highway tolls.

SOURCE: Korea Joongang Daily


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