The Korea Herald


Hyundai Motor gobbles 55% of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle market in Q1

By Kim So-yeon

Published : May 11, 2023 - 17:33

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BMW's hydrogen-powered pilot model, the iX5 Hydrogen (Herald DB) BMW's hydrogen-powered pilot model, the iX5 Hydrogen (Herald DB)

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor captured more than half of the global hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle market in the first quarter, according to energy market tracker SNE Research on Thursday.

A total of 3,737 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles were sold worldwide in the first three months of 2023, up 4.5 percent on-year.

Among manufacturers, Hyundai Motor sold a total of 2,042 vehicles, of which it sold 2,013 units of the Nexo -- an 19.8 percent increase on-year. Hyundai’s market share increased from 47.7 percent to 54.6 percent, ranking first.

Japanese automaker Toyota’s Mirai ranked second with sales of 902 units, down 32.6 percent year-on-year. Its market share also decreased from 37.4 percent to 24.1 percent, widening the gap with Hyundai Motor to 30.5 percentage points. China’s No. 1 truck maker Foton (110 units) and Chinese bus manufacturer King Long (24 units) followed.

Hyundai Motor’s Nexo has taken over more than 90 percent of sales in the domestic market, and it will widen the gap with overseas automakers due to the upcoming subsidy policy for 16,000 domestic hydrogen vehicles this year and the start of Q2, the peak season.

By country, Korean automakers took more than half of the global market share, growing 32.7 percent on-year due to high domestic sales of Hyundai Motor's Nexo.

For China, sales of commercial hydrogen vehicles -- which had slowed down in January and February -- recovered again, showing a 109.2 percent growth on-year.

The worldwide hydrogen vehicle market has shown gradual growth overall in Q1 this year, with global sales surpassing 20,000 units for the first time last year.

Major automakers have announced their willingness to develop hydrogen vehicles and challenge the market dominated by Hyundai Motor.

BMW Group unveiled a prototype of the iX5 Hydrogen, developed based on Toyota Mirai's fuel cells. It also announced its strategy of maximizing mileage and lowering unit prices of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to match that of EVs.

Honda announced plans to jointly develop next-generation fuel cell systems with General Motors and mass-produce new hydrogen vehicles based on Honda's subcompact sport utility vehicle, the CR-V, next year.

Toyota plans to add hydrogen cars to its lineup for its flagship model the Crown in the second half of this year.