Hyundai Debuts EV & Hydrogen Station – Can We All Get Along?

JAN 20 2016 BY JAY COLE 22

Hyundai has announced the completion of something it calls a “Fusion” station, the blending of two (up to 4 soon) relatively new alternate fuel technologies into one location for public consumption.  But can its users from the two camps get along without throwing sticks at each other?

Many EV Enthusiasts Aren't Timid On Their Feelings Toward Fuel Cells Taking Up The "Green" Spotlight

Many EV Enthusiasts Aren’t Timid On Their Feelings Toward Fuel Cells Taking Up The “Green” Spotlight

Specifically, a station equipped to refuel both a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (such as the Tucson ix35 show above) and the more common plug-in electric vehicle (Kia Ray EV).

This particular ‘Green Energy Station’ is situation in Gwangju, South Korea, within the Jingok Industrial Complex.

Interestingly the station was first put together as part of the ‘hydrogen economy’ infrastructure, and the plug-in services have just recently been added; perhaps as a result of Hyundai’s recent strong commitment to the tech with the upcoming IONIQ BEV and PHEV?

Construction on the project began in July. and is open to both forms of green transportation today.

The Hyundai Group will now study the station, at least in relation to its fuel cell usages (guess they know how EVs work already) and also hydrogen V2G (vehicle-to-grid) business models- including V2G inverters for fuel cell generators and vehicles.  The complex will expand in the second half of 2016, adding a CNG and LPG charging center that will be modified to also have a hydrogen-generating reformer.

The real question we would like answered for Hyundai’s study (after watching many a FCV article discussion section implode) is; can EV and FCV vehicle owners co-exist in the same place without kindly giving ‘bits of knowledge‘ to the other side, if not breaking into heading arguments about which is the superior tech?, Hat tip to sven!

Categories: Charging, Hyundai


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22 Comments on "Hyundai Debuts EV & Hydrogen Station – Can We All Get Along?"

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EV, FCV, CNG, LPG…Why not add a gas/diesel pump, too and make it the complete automotive recharge/refuel center? Maybe even sell soda, snacks, travel essentials. What a novel idea!


Actually CNG is not such a bad idea as > 95% of all hydrogen is produced today by reforming Methane (CH4) the major component of natural gas. BTW, the reforming process is a very mature process in the oil & gas industry and mobile reformers are available. Another excellent hydrogen carrier is Methanol (CH3OH) since it’s a liquid and hydrogen is easily reformed.

Sure, CNG (or LPG) would be a much more practical fuel. But then, just about any type of fuel would be much more practical for mass produced cars than highly compressed hydrogen gas. If you deliberately went out and looked for the worst possible fuel for a car, you’d have a hard time coming up with something less practical than H2, yet still able to power a prototype.

“If you’re going to pick an energy storage mechanism, hydrogen is an incredibly dumb one to pick. You should just pick methane. That’s much, much easier. Or propane.” -– Elon Musk, January 13, 2015

Yes sure, once you invent practical and efficient fuel cells that run straight on hydrocarbons, you may be able to continue trashing air without any hydrogen.

I’m convinced CCS and CHAdeMO stations (combination) are going to end up at convenience stores if they want to survive in the medium term. Someone should get on that 🙂

Is it DCFC or L2 only? If it’s L2, it’s sunk. Another interesting is Chademo/CCS. SoulEV is Chademo, SparkEV is CCS. Do they get both or none?

That’s the real “can’t we all just get along?” issue. Having combo CHAdeMO and CCS stations is ideal.

They don’t need CCS mess in Korea or Japan. It is just European/American electric car (non-)makers “invention” to make life harder. Even BMW sells i3 with Chademo instead of CCS in Japan.

Last fall S. Korea announced plans to install 500+ DC CHAdeMO stations across the country.

Hopefully the EV chargers are far enough away from the hydrogen bomb so not everyone dies in the explosion.

Are we actually supposed to be impressed that Hyundai has build one, repeat one, station which can refuel probably only a few “fool cell” cars per day?

Let’s keep in mind that even the California Fuel Cell Partnership’s overly optimistic plan was for each H2 station to fuel only 24 to 36 cars per day. At a cost of $2-3 million per station, that comes to an average of $8333 per car, if Hyundai actually intends to build enough fueling stations to supply all its “fool cell” cars. And that is optimistically assuming the H2 stations actually will be open whenever someone wants to fill, and that they’ll have enough fuel to fill the H2 tank(s) completely… which, in reality, often is not happening with public H2 fueling stations.

If anyone actually believes that Hyundai plans to build out a nationwide network of H2 fueling stations, at that high a cost per car… Well, then I have some ocean front property in Kansas to sell you.

There’s an old Korean saying, “even 1000 Li starts with a single step.” They have to start somewhere, but I’m not sure having BEV charger along with FC is a good idea.

Now the problem in Korea is lack of home charging. Most people don’t have garages, instead living in high rise condos. As such, their primary concern would be fast fueling as they can’t charge at home. DCFC would take 30 min while H would take 10 minutes, if that.

Given the current lack of FCEV, drivers would see rare FCEV pull up and leave in 5 minutes while BEV drivers mulling about 30 minutes, or 20 min with SparkEV if CCS is there. It may not be such good “ad” for BEV.

It’s a Good thing Bolt won’t be in Korea; an hour (or more) to charge would be embarrassing for BEV driver.

SparkEV said:

“Now the problem in Korea is lack of home charging. Most people don’t have garages, instead living in high rise condos. As such, their primary concern would be fast fueling as they can’t charge at home. DCFC would take 30 min while H would take 10 minutes, if that.”

There is no sensible reason to try to use DCFC for routine, everyday EV charging. L2 charging is the sensible and much less expensive way to charge an EV.

L2 chargers need to be installed where people park cars. Eventually, demand will make such chargers ubiquitous. But when the adoption rate is only 1% or so, there’s not enough demand for the average car lot owner, or municipality, to start installing them everywhere.

S. Korea has the advantage of being the home of the “EV-Line” charging network. That looks to me like the right solution for those who can’t charge at home.

What needs to happen and what’s happening are different. It’s far worse chicken and egg problem. In US, home charging in garage is far easier, allowing people to easily adapt to EV.

In Korea, convincing managers to install charger out in parking lot (many are not assigned) is next to impossible. Then how do you drive EV? DCFC is the only way to avoid chicken and egg. If there are enough EV, they may use EVSE as carrot for selling condos. But for now, it’s hard, especially outside Seoul like this article mention.

By the way, May 18 is an interesting movie about this city.

A BEV could add ~30-35 miles in 10 minutes from a 50 kW DC charging station. Given the metro nature and size of S.Korea, the average daily driving distance is much less than a geography large country like the US.

While more of the population live in multi family accommodations, it still possible to use home charging; just that infrastructure needs landlord support vs. Individual PEV owner support.

I think the concept is cool from a technology perspective. The market will ultimately win, despite government intervention, and people that want to refuel their cars with a silly, pointless, inefficient energy carrier can do so at a greater expense than the rest of us do with electricity.

High Voltage electricity and highly-compressed hydrogen. What could possibly go wrong?

Spark EV? 🙂

Note: the hydrogen is compressed on-site using electric motors to power the compressor. Therefor any e-sparks are likely to be self-initiated.

FYI: Electricity used to compress hydrogen could power a PEV a very many miles.

where’s the wind turbine/solar? Batteries for QC to maximize efficiency. Sell the electricity produced, make-compress H &/or fill batteries when not profitable to sell the electricity.
I wish upon a star..