Hyundai to supply 1,000 hydrogen buses to run in South Korean capital and surrounding area by 2027




Deal represents a fifth of bus operator KD Transportation’s nationwide fleet


Korean automaker Hyundai has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with public transport company KD Transportation and industrial firm SK E&S to supply 1,000 hydrogen buses by 2027.


While it is unclear whether the deal is commercially binding, and if so, when final contracts will be signed, Hyundai has agreed to replace the first 100 buses with fuel-cell models this year.


Given that KD Transportation operates around 5,000 buses nationwide, this plan would replace a fifth of its current fleet in three years.


The buses will run in Seoul and the surrounding Gyeonggi province, with SK responsible for building and supplying H2 to six liquid hydrogen refuelling sites throughout the area.


However, while a press release by Hyundai claims that liquid hydrogen filling stations are more efficient than those storing and distributing compressed gas, with shorter refuelling times, liquefaction requires hydrogen to be cooled to minus 253°C and uses more energy than compression.


Hyundai had previously announced it had signed an MOU with the Seoul city government and SK to supply 1,300 buses for its roads by 2026, as well as five liquid H2 refuelling sites.


The automaker was also one of the signatories of an agreement with the national government to put 2,000 H2 buses on the road by the same year.


However, it is unclear whether this latest deal with KD Transportation is separate, or an agreement that would help Hyundai fulfil these previous targets.


The South Korean government more widely aims for the country to have at least 21,200 hydrogen buses as part of a wider 300,000 fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) target and more than 660 H2 filling stations by 2030.


However, despite generous subsidies, the market for passenger FCEVs has slowed considerably, with only two units sold in South Korea in January.



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