EV charging station graphic (Getty Image Bank)
Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co. beat its Japanese rival Toyota to become the world's largest fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) maker in the first half of the year with the release of a facelifted model, industry data showed Monday.
Hyundai Motor, the maker of the NEXO SUV, sold about 4,700 units in the January-June period, up 62.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the data by SNE Research.
Hyundai slipped to second place in the FCEV market in the first quarter, but it regained the top spot with a 51.7 percent market share in the first half thanks to the robust sales of the 2021 NEXO model released in January.
Toyota's FCEV sales skyrocketed 735.1 percent on-year to 3,700 units in the first six months of the year to take up a 40.9 percent share, led by solid demand of its second-generation Mirai model.
Japanese automaker Honda was in a distant third place with a 1.6 percent share over the period.
With the FCEV market still at a nascent stage with a lack of competitive models and charging infrastructure, market watchers expect tougher competition between Hyundai and Toyota, which represent a combined market share of over 90 percent.
"There are ample possibilities that Toyota overtakes Hyundai at any time," SNE Research said in a release. "Hyundai Motor needs to realign its FCEV market strategy."
An FCEV is an eco-friendly vehicle that only emits water vapor as it converts stored hydrogen into electricity, which turns the vehicle's motor. (Yonhap)