In an announcement that should surprise nobody who has truly been paying attention, Samsung SDI has apparently decided to close its hydrogen fuel cell division and focus new development resources on electric vehicle batteries.
The writing’s been on the wall for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for some time now — arguably, since they were invented. The economics just don’t make sense except perhaps in a few niche applications. So, it shouldn’t be too surprising that the giant Korean electronics firm has decided to shift its resources elsewhere.
What was the stated reason for dropping the division? According to a company rep, because the “outlook of the market isn’t good.”
No argument there from me. It seems to just be a matter of time at this point before the technology has zero-backing from any major auto-manufacturers.
“The same spokesperson said fuel-cell patents and equipment would be sold to a local company, but would not name the purchaser. Kolon Industries subsequently acknowledged that it had been approached by Samsung SDI about a deal on the equipment and related assets,” Green Car Reports notes.
“Samsung is in the midst of a larger process of cutting projects and product lines it believes to be unprofitable, and redirecting resources to only those it considers will remain core businesses.”
Accompanying the recent announcement was another that revealed the company’s plans to invest over 3 trillion won (~$2.5 billion) over the next 5 years into electric vehicle (EV) battery development.
On a related note, Hyundai recently announced that it is refocusing on electric vehicles (and away from hydrogen fuel cell vehicles) as well.