Hyundai Construction to develop hydrogen fuel excavators

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Hyundai Construction Equipment (HCE) has announced that it will work with Hyundai Motor Group to develop what it says would be the world’s first hydrogen-powered construction equipment.

Hyundai Construction Equipment will work with other Hyundai business units to develop hydrogen-powered excavators

The construction manufacturer has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the joint-development of hydrogen fuel cell construction equipment with Hyundai Motors and Hyundai Mobis at its Mabuk Research Center in Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.

The three companies will look to develop hydrogen-powered forklifts and medium/large hydrogen-powered excavators.

According to the MOU, Hyundai Motors and Hyundai Mobis will design and manufacture hydrogen fuel cell systems, including power packs, while HCE will design, manufacture, and evaluate the performance of excavators and forklifts. The target date for mass production and distribution has been set to 2023.

Unlike conventional diesel engine equipment, hydrogen-based electric construction equipment uses electricity produced through the chemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen as its power source, meaning no emissions of toxic gases into the air.

Given the rising demand for environmentally-friendly equipment around the world, HCE expect hydrogen-based construction equipment to prove popular in the global construction market.

According to Hyundai, hydrogen fuel cells are much easier to expand than lithium batteries, which have been marred by structural issues limiting various attempts to increase battery capacity. This is said to make them a more logical choice for large forklifts or excavators.

Hwang Jong-hyun, head of the R&D division for Hyundai Material Handling at HCE, said, “With this latest agreement, we’ve prepared a foundation upon which we can secure core technology in hydrogen-powered construction equipment ahead of our competitors.

“Hyundai Construction Equipment will do its very best to meet the challenges that lie ahead as countries around the world attempt to establish global standards in terms of certifying the performance of equipment and legislating relevant laws for the commercialisation of hydrogen-powered construction equipment, and play a leading role in the market moving forward.”

As well as the work on hydrogen-powered construction equipment HCE said that it will continue to focus on other alternative power sources, such as the mini electric excavator the company produced in 2018 in collaboration with Cummins.

The article was originally seen at : https://www.khl.com/international-construction/hyundai-construction-to-develop-hydrogen-fuel-excavators/142553.article