South Korean government reveals FCEVs roadmap
The South Korean government has revealed a roadmap to increase adoption of fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in the country, reports The Korea Herald. The government aims to produce 6.2 million FCEVs and build 1,200 hydrogen refilling stations across the country by 2040. It aims to have 80,000 FCEVs on the country's roads by 2022, up from a previous target of 65,000 FCEVs by that year. By 2030, it aims to have 1.8 million FCEVs.
In a bid to achieve its target, the government will provide subsidies for fuel-cell electric taxis and trucks and will work with local governments to increase the number of fuel-cell electric buses to 2,000 by 2022. It also plans to start replacing all 820 police buses with fuel-cell electric buses in 2021. The subsidies are expected to drive up production capacity and lower costs to around KRW30 million (USD26,639.3) by 2015, half the price of an FCEV in today's market.
"For us, it is a golden opportunity that could fundamentally transform the state energy system and secure new growth engines [at the same time]," said South Korean President Moon Jae-in. "We can take the lead in [creating] a hydrogen economy by connecting [the technology] with traditional manufacturing sectors including the auto, shipping, and petrochemical industries," he said.
Furthermore, in its roadmap the government announced that it will diversify the hydrogen supply portfolio, increase the supply volume to 5.26 million tons in the next 20 years, and lower the market price of the energy source to less than KRW3,000/kg. The South Korean government will also support the industrial and domestic use of fuel cells for electricity and develop ships, trains, and construction machinery powered by hydrogen, in line with its determination to pursue a hydrogen economy.
Outlook and implications
The roadmap is in line with the government's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, generate new growth momentum for its automotive industry, and reduce its heavy reliance on imported oil. South Korea relies on oil imports from the Middle East for most of its energy needs. Hydrogen fuel has the strong potential to revive sluggish manufacturing businesses, including small and medium-sized companies, which in turn will create new jobs. The government aims to bring in fresh investment and create jobs in traditional industries such as steel production, petrochemicals, and mechanical engineering through the roadmap. The report highlights that the government expects to generate KRW43 trillion worth of added value a year and create 420,000 new jobs in the market by 2040.
In a bid to achieve its aim, South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy announced in June 2018, that along with private entities, it would invest KRW2.6 trillion through public-private partnerships to speed up development of the FCEV ecosystem in the country by 2022. It said that approximately KRW190 billion would be invested in 2018 to establish private special corporations for hydrogen filling stations. Between 2020 and 2022, the ministry will also invest in the expansion of hydrogen production and fuel-cell stack plants, as well as mass production of packaged hydrogen filling stations. Close to KRW125 billion has been earmarked for research and development (R&D) of major components, including the fuel-cell stack.
According to IHS Markit light-vehicle powertrain forecasts, production of FCEVs in South Korea will grow to over 3,600 units in 2025, up from an estimated 792 units in 2018. Our light-vehicle forecast includes passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles.
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