South Korea is making a huge bet that the first element of the periodic table, hydrogen, will fuel Asia's fourth largest economy.
Korea's shift toward hydrogen as an energy source for the future is based on the country's need to reduce its heavy reliance on oil imports and its carbon footprint.
“This car is one of the three fuel cell electric vehicles sold in the world. It sucks in air, which provides the oxygen needed to combine with hydrogen to produce energy.”
During the process, microparticles including fine dust are filtered out, and the rest of the air leaves the car cleaner than it was before.
It sounds too good to be true for some people, who have raised concerns over possible safety issues. that have been linked to hydrogen-powered vehicles.
"People in general believe that there are risks of hydrogen tank explosions. In order for explosions to actually happen, oxygen needs to flow into the tank but as soon as oxygen flow takes place, the vehicle automatically emits hydrogen. Plus, there's no explosion because the tank is made out of carbon fibers, not steel."
The government now aims to have 6.2 million hydrogen-powered vehicles on the country's roads with 1,200 refilling stations by 2040, from the current 1,700 vehicles and 17 stations available across the country.
Both China and the U.S. have set their 2030 targets for hydrogen vehicles at 1 million.
With the help of hydrogen-fueled vehicles, South Korea hopes to attract fresh investment, revive its sluggish manufacturing sector and create 420,000 new jobs.
In order to develop hydrogen technology as a future energy source, experts from the International Electrotechnical Commission highlighted the importance of safety and strict verification when establishing international hydrogen standardizations.
KIM Da-mi, Arirang News.