SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will operate eight highway charging stations for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles by June, Hyundai Motor said Friday.
Hyundai and the Korea Expressway Corp. will each operate four stations, the carmaker said in a statement.
On Friday, Hyundai began operating the hydrogen charging stations in Anseong and Yeoju, 77 kilometers and 105 km south of Seoul, respectively, it said.
Hydrogen vehicles can charge themselves from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Currently, there are two hydrogen-powered models both made by Hyundai -- Nexo and Tucson ix -- in Korea, Hyundai said.
The stations are part of Hyundai's broad hydrogen energy road map, in which it will invest 7.6 trillion won (US$6.7 billion) in hydrogen car-producing facilities and related R&D activities by 2030.
Hyundai plans to produce 500,000 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and 700,000 fuel cell systems by 2030. Out of the planned 700,000 fuel cell systems, it aims to sell 200,000 systems to rival carmakers and other manufacturers.
Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company forecast demand for the world's fuel cell systems to be about 5.5 million to 6.5 million by 2030 as fuel cells will drive down maintenance costs by about 10 percent in trains, ships and forklifts over the cited span.
For the spread of hydrogen vehicles, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport will partner with private sector firms to build a total of 310 hydrogen charging stations, including ones along highways, across the country by 2022, Hyundai said.