images courtesy of alaka’i technologies


By Hyunjin Choi


Lengthening flight time is one of the main issues for the drone market. The power source for UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is mostly lithium batteries, which are able to provide power just for about 20 minutes of air time. So as to extend the running time, the size of the battery needs to be bigger, but bigger mass hinders the drones’ performance.


In this regard, liquefaction hydrogen cells have emerged as an alternative because they deliver a greater performance in the compressed form than fossil fuels or gaseous hydrogen fuels. Other than the performance, liquid hydrogen cells are attractive power sources in the sense of safety and environment. It is safer than the conventional fuel as it dissipates quickly in the air, making it hard to catch fire even in the case a tank is accidentally punctured. Besides, mostly composed of hydrogen and oxygen, it is extremely eco-friendly, producing zero-emission.


However, there still remain a few problems to be addressed: how to produce, transport, and store it.



Here, a Korean hydrogen fuel cell startup, Hylium Industries, Inc.(Born2Global Centre Member '18~'19), might suggest an answer for them with a new technology of liquefying hydrogen. Hylium developed the highly difficult cryogenic liquefaction technology in 2014, in turn, succeeding in developing liquid hydrogen tanks which can be utilized for UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). It is very challenging to convert gas-form hydrogen into liquid form since it needs to be cooled at ultra-low temperature, below minus 253 Celsius. In addition, making liquid hydrogen usable fuel is the key to the UAV industry as it is cumbersome to compress and store colorless and odorless hydrogen.Hylium managed to deal with the aforementioned issues in the automotive perspective with cryogenic devices.


The liquid hydrogen cells Hylium Industries developed can be used not only for drones but for small air mobility such as air taxis. Recognizing Hylium’s cryogenic liquefaction technology, Alaka’i, a Massachusetts-based aviation startup, debuted “Skai,” a hydrogen powered flying car in a mockup in LA at BMW Designworks in May. The hydrogen cells by Hylium boost run times of Skai from 20 minutes of conventional batteries up to four hours (400 miles) of flight with even five passenger capacity, depending on the size of the UAV’s fuel tank. With a charge for 10 minutes, it can commute nearby cities, not just within a city. With longer distances by stronger batteries, the multi copters are expected to act as ambulances  as well as mere commuting vehicles. 


With Skai launching, Hylium has stood out as one of the world’s best hydrogen tech-based companies since the flying car company led by aerospace experts from NASA, Raytheon, Airbus, Boeing, and the Department of Defense chose the technology of a Korean hydrogen company to power its own product, beating out all other competitive fuel cell providers worldwide.



Hylium already attracted grand attention after demonstrating mobile Hydrogen Refueling Station, a five-ton truck carrying fueling equipment in 2018. Hylium developed it with support of a world-renowned automotive company, Hyundai and Gwangju Creative Economy Innovation Center. Due to the high initial cost for building a hydrogen refueling system as well as the safety issue for gaseous hydrogen, it was hard to construct a refueling hydrogen station with the expected cost of 3 billion dollars.


However, Hylium addresses the issues of cost, safety, and lack of numbers for hydrogen stations by developing a mobile Hydrogen Refueling Station. With the huge liquefaction hydrogen tank mounted on the truck, it can easily locate and move to hydrogen powered car owners in need of charging fuels. The mobile Hydrogen Refueling Station can store up to 7,500 liters of low-pressure liquid hydrogen and fill up to 100 hydrogen-powered cars per day.



이낙연 국무총리가 31일 서울 종로구 역사박물관 앞에서 열린 경찰수소버스 시승식에서 경찰 기동대원들과 함께 기념촬영을 하고 있다. 연합뉴스

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (second from right) on Oct. 31 poses for a group selfie while on the nation's first fuel cell police bus with a group of police officers in front of Seoul's National Museum of Korean Contemporary History. (Yonhap News)

By Kang Gahui and Lee Hana

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on Oct. 31 joined a group of police officers in introducing the country's first fuel cell police bus.

Last year on Oct. 24 during an inspection meeting for national affairs, Lee had asked that all police buses based in Seoul's downtown area of Gwanghwamun Square be replaced with those running on hydrogen fuel cells. A little over a year later, the first such bus was shown to the public.

"By 2028, all police buses will be those powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The new buses will not only improve working conditions for police officers but also create a better environment for Seoul residents," he said during his visit.

Police buses using conventional internal combustion engines are typically left idle by the roadside for extended periods of time, creating noise and air pollution that civilians have long complained about. The new model, however, makes little noise and releases no harmful gases.

One model was parked on Oct. 31 by Gwanghwamun Square and another by the National Assembly in Seoul's Yeouido area for public viewing.

The Korean National Police Agency will purchase two fuel cell buses next year and gradually replace all police buses with the new model by 2021. Plans for introducing fuel cell patrol cars are also under review.

With the administration pushing for the development of vehicles running on hydrogen fuel cells to reduce particulate matter in the air and pioneer the future car market, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced a plan to develop eco-friendly vehicles by 2030 including fuel cell maintenance trucks.

이낙연 국무총리(가운데)가 31일 서울 광화문에서 열린 경찰 수소전기버스 시승식에서 MOU를 체결하고 기념촬영하고 있다. 현대자동차

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (center) on Oct. 31 attends a signing ceremony for the adoption of fuel cell police buses in front of the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History in Seoul. (Hyundai Motor Company)



By Hyunjin Choi


In the fast move of the world’s leading carmakers to produce eco-friendly cars such as electric and hydrogen cars, and autonomous cars, Korea is planning to invest 60 trillion won for transforming the conventional car industry into the future car industry, with two-thirds of the investment coming from Hyundai Motor Group. This master plan for the future industry was unveiled at a proclamation ceremony held at Hyundai Motors’ Namyang R&D Center in Hwaseoung, Gyeonggi Province.


President Moon Jae-in made a speech on South Korea’s vision to be a global leader in the future automotive industry at the ceremony. He stated that the government is going to nurture the future car industry with the purpose of becoming the world’s No.1 in car technologies by 2030. In line with the vision, the government will boost the domestic sales ratio of electric and hydrogen vehicles from the current 2.6% up to 33% of all vehicles sold in Korea by 2030, attaining the global market share of the car industry to 10% by the cited period, the President Moon Jae-in said.



The government disclosed another plan to commercialize the level 4 autonomous vehicles for the first time in the world by 2027, working on the commercialization of the level 3 and 4 self-driving cars at the same time. At level 4, self-driving cars are fully autonomous, but only under certain conditions.


As for infrastructures, the method of wireless communication networks will be determined whether to use WAVE or 5G by 2021 and set up by 2024. The government will get down to the process of unifying nationwide road signs as well as establishing an integrated control system and 3-dimensional precision maps by 2030. The related laws and regulations, including insurance policies will be prepared for autonomous cars accordingly.



To elevate the efficiency and performance of the electric and hydrogen cars, the possible driving distance from one-time charge is going to increase from 400 km to 600 km, with the time of charge three times faster by 2025. The expected budget for this will be around 385.6 billion won. The number of charging stations will reach up to 15,000 units for electric cars by 2025 and 660 units for hydrogen cars by 2030. The charging stations will be located strategically for users within 20 minutes of major cities for easy access.


Korea’s independence on the local key materials and parts required for the future car production will be raised from 50 percent to 80 percent. In this regard, the parts for the hydrogen vehicles are aimed to be produced all domestically and decrease the price of the car at the 40 million won level by 2025.



Other than eco-friendly and autonomous cars, the government also seeks to commercialize flying cars(PAV: Personal Air Vehicle), securing the core technology of high power motors and developing the PAV-only routes. Huge test-beds providing the future transportation system and self-driving linked services will be created in smart cities of Sejong and Busan. This smart city will supply AI-based transportation transfer systems and the most optimal navigation information.



With the government’s initiative, Hyundai Motor Group announced it will invest 41 trillion won, which accounts for two-thirds of the government’s projected budget for the future car industry by 2025. Also, the giant carmakers will open up its vehicle data to small-and-medium-sized automakers and startups, so it can bolster the domestic car industry.


Together with invigorating mobility startups and industry, the ministry expects that the blueprint on the future car industry will establish a safer driving environment for Korean drivers. The death toll is expected to decrease below 1,000 in 2030, compared with approximately 3,700 last year. The emission of greenhouse gases and fine dust will fall respectively 30 percent and 11 percent by 2030, the ministry added. 



The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety of the U.S. announced on Aug. 8 that the 2019 Hyundai Nexo, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, won the Virginia-based think tank's highest rating for safety. (Hyundai Motor Company)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety of the U.S. announced on Aug. 8 that the 2019 Hyundai Nexo, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, won the Virginia-based think tank's highest rating for safety. (Hyundai Motor Company)

By Lee Jihae 

The 2019 Hyundai Nexo, a vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells, has earned the highest safety ratings not only in Korea and Europe but also the U.S. 

The Virginia-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested the Nexo at the request of Hyundai Motor Company, and in a report released on Aug. 8, the think tank gave the vehicle the Top Safety Pick Plus award, the highest issued by the IIHS. 

This was the first time for the think tank to test a fuel cell vehicle. A model qualifies for the IIHS award if it earns good ratings in the driver- and passenger-side small overlap fronts, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. It must also have an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and a good headlight rating. 

The Nexo last year also earned a string of top safety awards in Europe and Korea. In October last year, it attained the highest safety grade of five stars from the New Car Assessment Program of Europe and in December, it won the award for best medium-size SUV from the Korean New Car Assessment Program of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on May 28 announced an investment of KRW 902.9 billion (USD 760 million) in clean energy R&D this year at the fourth Mission Innovation conference in Vancouver, Canada. (iClickart)

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on May 28 announced an investment of KRW 902.9 billion (USD 760 million) in clean energy R&D this year at the fourth Mission Innovation conference in Vancouver, Canada. (iClickart)

By Jung Joo-ri and Kim Hwaya 

The government this year will invest KRW 902.9 billion in clean energy research and development (R&D), the Ministry of Trade, industry and Energy said on May 28. 

The ministry added that Korea shared its Mission Innovation (MI) implementation status at MI's fourth annual ministerial conference in Vancouver, Canada. 

Announced at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris on Nov. 30, 2015, MI is a global initiative of 23 countries including the U.S., the U.K., Japan and China committed to doubling their public and/or government-directed investments in clean energy R&D by 2021.

All MI member nations have pledged to expand such investments from USD 14.9 billion in 2016 to USD 30 billion in 2021, with Korea aiming to go from USD 490 million to USD 980 million over the period. 

Deputy Minister for Energy and Resource Joo Young-Joon said at the conference that Seoul was fully implementing its MI commitment. Korea's investment in clean energy R&D this year is KRW 902.9 billion (USD 760 million), up 61.1 percent from 2016.

The ministry also announced efforts toward technological innovation through joint R&D projects with other MI member countries in eight priority sectors like smart grids, biofuel and hydrogen energy.

President Moon Jae-in (second from left) on Jan. 17 looks at the booth of a hydrogen fuel car at Ulsan City Hall ahead of the announcement of the administration’s pro-hydrogen economy policy. (Hyoja-dong Studio)

President Moon Jae-in (second from left) on Jan. 17 looks at the booth of a hydrogen fuel car at Ulsan City Hall ahead of the announcement of the administration’s pro-hydrogen economy policy. (Hyoja-dong Studio)

By Jung Joo-ri and Yoon Sojung 

The government on Jan. 17 announced an ambitious plan to foster the hydrogen economy, a crucial sector in the administration's drive to secure future growth engines, by supporting related industries such as hydrogen-powered cars and fuel cells.

The announcement came at the building of Ulsan Metropolitan Government under the title "Roadmap to Vitalize the Hydrogen Economy and Future Energy Strategies in Ulsan." 

The roadmap is composed of three parts: expanding the output of hydrogen-powered cars and fuel cells and establishing a system for hydrogen production and distribution. 

The goal is to churn out 6.2 million hydrogen-powered vehicles -- 3.3 million for export and 2.9 million for the domestic market – as well as build 1,200 hydrogen-charging stations across the country. In public transportation, an estimated 80,000 taxis, 40,000 buses and 30,000 trucks all powered by hydrogen will be supplied by 2040.

Another core industry the government is promoting is hydrogen fuel cells, which require no large-scale power facilities and produce no carbon. 

To this end, the government plans to boost power generation through fuel cells to 15 gigawatts and 2.1 gigawatts for 940,000 households and companies by 2040. New power rates for fuel cells will be set within the first half of this year. 

Work is also being done to form a system to ensure a more economic and stable hydrogen supply and production. Methods to store hydrogen will be diversified in the forms of high-pressed gas, liquid or solid status. To meet growing demand over the long term, construction is planned of a pipeline that can connect the entire country. The government will also help keep the price of hydrogen under KRW 3,000 per kilogram. 

Attending the event in Ulsan, President Moon Jae-in said, "The hydrogen economy will bring revolutionary change to the country’s industrial structure and transform the sources of the country's energy from coal and oil to hydrogen."

"This can be a now-or-never chance to secure a new growth engine and fundamentally change the national energy system."




Unveiling the world's first mobile liquid hydrogen refueling station!


Hylium Industries (B2G '17-'18)'s liquefied hydrogen-based mobile hydrogen refueling station offers advantages such as safe, high storage efficiency and reduced hydrogen transportation cost compared to conventional high-pressure gas type mobile hydrogen refueling stations.

Will mobile liquid hydrogen refueling stations for hydrogen refuel cars be stationed all over the world?

Take a look at the core technologies of Hylium Industries!



S01_ Hylium Industries unveils Mobile Hydrogen Refueling Station - mHRS®.

S02_ mHRS® can go anywhere with carrying up to 7,500L of liquid hydrogen.

S03_ Refueling high-purity hydrogen gas up to 100 FCEVs a day at 700bar.

S04_ mHRS® has no compressor and chiller so that reduces CAPEX and OPEX.

S04_ Easy to extend to fixed hydrogen refueling station.

S05_ mHRS® based on liquid hydrogen provides a safer, higher storage density and lower cost of transport than a compressed hydrogen station.

S06_ mHRS® leads to popularize of FCEVs.


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