THP-E86: South Korea Jumpstarts The Race To Net Zero Hydrogen Public Transportation. Australian Company Take Modular Concept Commercial And Cummins And Werner Trucking Cruising In The Fast Lane With Big News

January 31, 2022 * Paul Rodden * Season: 2022 * Episode: 86

Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 086, South Korea’s subsidizing big money for Hydrogen buses, Werner enterprises and Cummins announced a collaboration on hydrogen and a new modular company in Australia gets funding to commercialize. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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South Korea’s subsidizing big money for Hydrogen buses, Werner enterprises and Cummins announced a collaboration on hydrogen and a new modular company in Australia gets funding to commercialize. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions will unlock the potential of hydrogen, and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden and welcome to the hydrogen podcast.

In an article from recharge, Lee Collins writes South Korean authorities to spend $157 million subsidizing the world’s largest ever order for Hydrogen buses. The South Korean government is to subsidize the purchase of 624 Hydrogen buses. There will be an operation in the south of the country by the end of 2025. The Ministry of Environment and local authorities will each contribute 150,000,00 won towards every 630,000,00 won or $530,000 Fuel Cell bus with Korean auto manufacturer Hyundai offering 10,000,00 won bulk purchase discount on each unit. This means that local private bus companies in Busan, Ulsan and Gyeongnam Province will only pay 320,000,00 won per zero emission vehicle to replace their existing diesel and compressed natural gas buses.

The subsidies for the project add up to 187.2 billion won or $157 million dollars of taxpayer money. The announcement comes less than two weeks after the French city of Montpelier scraped long standing plans to buy 51 Hydrogen buses after realizing they would cost six times as much to run as battery electric equivalents. According to a recent article in the Korea Herald newspaper, a fully electric bus in the country would cost about 400,000,00 won or $336,000 without subsidies. The announcement by the Korean government does not explain how the hydrogen for the buses will be sourced or whether it would be green or gray. So to put the size of the hydrogen bus order into context, South Korea only had 15 Fuel Cell buses in operation in mid 2020.

And there are currently more than 150 operating in Europe. According to fuel cell company Ballard recharge believes that the deal for 624 buses will be the world’s largest ever order for hydrogen powered buses. As part of the plan single buses will begin operating and pilot projects in each of the three aforementioned areas in the first half of this year. Through this agreement, the Ministry of Environment is planning to gradually expand the target and scale of other regions by using it as a model example of leading city bus pollution free leadership. This is a quote from the ministry, the densely populated country is aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. But because of the limited availability of land for renewable projects, it’s planning for 33% of its energy to come from hydrogen by 2050 60% of which will be imported.

It also plans to have 5.3 million fuel cell electric vehicles on its Road by 2050. Powered by at least 2000 Hydrogen filling stations. So a big investment from South Korea for hydrogen transportation. Now, it’s not a big surprise that battery powered buses are coming in at a lower price point. They’ve been around longer so they’re able to take better advantage of the economies of scale that they’ve been offered. But now with orders like this, I think we’ll see an even larger increase in economies of scale for hydrogen powered public transportation. Next, in an article from PV David Carroll writes Australian startup gets funds to commercialize modular hydrogen powered energy solution. Brisbane based Endua, which plans to build modular hydrogen powered banks using new electrolysis technology developed by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization is among 22 businesses that will share more than 12.2 million Australian dollars or 8.8 million US dollars in funding to commercialize their ideas.

The grants are part of a government program to help Australian companies grow, commercialize innovations and gain further investments to enter new domestic and international markets. Endua has received a grant of just under a million Australian dollars to commercialize its hydrogen powered energy storage solution designed to deliver sustainable, reliable and affordable power for the off grid market. It plans to commercialize clean power generation and storage and a modular power bank that can drive power loads of up to 150 kilowatts in a single pack. The company will use CSIRO electrolysis technology to produce hydrogen and its device which will store and deliver renewable energy batteries serve as backup, but Endua’s goal is to deliver clean energy that can be stored in large quantities, enabling off grid infrastructure and communities to have self sustaining power sources Endua’s CEO Paul Sernia, the founder of EV charger maker Tritium, said the hydrogen based technology will make it possible for regional communities, towns and industries, like mines and remote infrastructure to become self sustaining from the grid using only renewables.

He’s quoted as saying hydrogen electrolysis technology has been around for quite some time. But there’s still a long way to go to meet the expectations of commercial markets, and to be cost effective when compared to existing energy sources. The technology we’ve developed with CSIRO and enables us to make the cost more affordable compared to hydrocarbon sources, more reliable and easily maintained in remote communities. Sales of Endua’s power bank technology will initially focus on off grid diesel generator markets, which accounts for 1.5 billion of diesel and 200,000 tons of carbon emissions per year. Okay, so another modular hydrogen company is getting funding. And I don’t know about you, but I’m really starting to see massive growth in this segment.

And I think there’s a lot more room to grow. The concept of modular units producing hydrogen is really a game changer for the energy industry. The fact that you can now start to create your energy source at your utilization site is one of those small little factors that makes hydrogen so compelling. I look forward to seeing where this company goes, and other companies coming into the play. And last in a press release, a zero emissions future starts now. Werner enterprises and Cummins announced collaboration to integrate Cummins new 15 liter natural gas and 15 liter hydrogen internal combustion engines.

In a press release on January 28, Werner enterprises, a premier transportation and logistics provider, and Cummins Inc, a global power solutions provider have announced that Werner will begin validation and integration of Cummins recently announced 15 liter natural gas and 15 liter hydrogen, internal combustion engines and its vehicles, Cummins will begin integrating these new power trains in Werner trucks and the second half of 2022 Starting with the 15 liter natural gas product, and a quote from Srikanth Padmanabhan, vice president and president of energy business at Cummins Werner is a transportation leader focused on reducing its carbon footprint, and Cummins is uniquely positioned to help provide low carbon options successfully and seamlessly using multiple power solutions. Our solutions include our newest heavy duty natural gas engine, and our heavy duty hydrogen internal combustion engine currently being developed our broad range of powertrain solutions from advanced diesel natural gas, hydrogen to electrification allows Cummins to provide multiple options that meet our customer’s specific business needs and sustainability targets today. The Next Generation Cummins power trains will provide a clear path to a transition towards a zero emission future. And in a quote from Derek Leathers, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, of Werner Enterprises.

The options Cummins is providing align with our long standing focus on sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint. They understand the priority we place on using technology to minimize our impact on the environment. By being proactive now, we are ensuring a better future for everyone and I look forward to this collaborative effort. And in a quote from Amy Boerger vice president and general manager of North America at Cummins. This collaboration will combine the extensive experience and expertise of both our companies to provide Werner’s fleet with a safe and reliable solution that will help them meet their sustainability and operational targets while providing Cummins valuable operational and performance data to help us optimize our product offerings. These collaborations allow us to refine and optimize our technologies and to make the shift to zero emissions commercial transportation solutions across diverse markets much more quickly. The 15 liter natural gas engine announced on October of 2021 can be paired with a Cummins Eaton automated transmission technologies Endurant HD transmission and Cummins fuel delivery system, ensuring a purpose built and fully integrated natural gas powertrain, the other transmission pairings will be available at launch for specialized applications.

The 15 liter engine will offer ratings of up to 500 horsepower, and 1850 foot pounds of torque while not requiring selective catalytic reduction SCR to meet 2024 California Environmental Protection Agency emission standards, providing a potentially carbon negative solution when powered with renewable natural gas. Hydrogen engines offer OEMs and end users the benefit of adaptability by continuing to use familiar mechanical drive lines with vehicle and equipment integration. This mirrors the current power trains while continuing to provide the power and capability for meeting application needs. Additionally, the 15 liter hydrogen engine can use zero carbon green Hydrogen fuel produced by Cummins manufactured electrolyzers. The projected investment in renewable hydrogen production globally will provide a growing opportunity for the development of hydrogen powered fleets utilizing either Cummins fuel cell or engine power.

Okay, so I know there was a lot of vehicle techno talk getting thrown into this press release. But here’s some takeaways that I think should be focused on. The first is that Werner enterprises is looking to reduce its carbon footprint by relying more on natural gas and hydrogen. Now, Werner is a major trucking company in North America with $2.4 billion dollars in revenues in 2020. So the fact that they’re looking to make this transition is an important one. Also important to note here is the utilization of a 15 liter hydrogen internal combustion engine. And this is one of the first, if not the first press release, I’ve read about commercial applications of hydrogen internal combustion engines. I think in the long run, fuel cells make much more sense. But that being said, if you’re a fleet operator wanting to decarbonize, it may be much cheaper to make the small adjustments to your current internal combustion system to modify it to utilize hydrogen instead.

Alright, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about today’s episode, come to visit me at my website at Or you can always email me at I would really love to hear from you. And as always, take care. Stay safe. I’ll talk to you later.

Hey, this is Paul. I hope you liked this podcast. If you did and want to hear more, I’d appreciate it if you would either subscribe to this channel on YouTube, or connect with your favorite platform through my website at Thanks for listening. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day.