Berlin (dpa) - The South Korean automobile manufacturer Hyundai wants to significantly reduce the costs for electric vehicles with fuel cells in the coming years.

"Our goal in 2025 is to build cars with fuel cells that cost as much as electric vehicles with battery drives," said Saehoon Kim, head of the fuel cell division at Hyundai, the newspaper "Welt". Vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells have so far been significantly more expensive than electric cars with battery storage.

The increase in production is the decisive lever to lower costs. “This year we are planning to build 13,000 Nexo and we want to continuously increase production every year from now on. Our current goal for 2030 is to build 500,000 cars with fuel cells, »said Kim. The Hyundai Nexo is currently the only fuel cell car with growing series production alongside the Mirai from the competitor Toyota.

Unlike the German car manufacturers, Hyundai and Toyota are counting on a steady expansion of business with these vehicles in the coming years. «Most European automobile manufacturers say that fuel cells are a technology for the coming decade. We believe it is a technology for this decade, ”said Kim.

It took more than ten years to set up a supply chain for this. "For all those who are still relatively young in this process, it is of course understandable that the fuel cell will only be a technology for the next decade," says Kim.

Together with Kia, Hyundai is the fifth largest automaker in the world. The VW rival had announced that it would move into the group of the three largest manufacturers of batteries and fuel cell vehicles by 2025.

Cars with fuel cells, in which hydrogen reacts with oxygen to water and thus provides the necessary drive energy, are considered an alternative to pure electric cars with battery drives. So far, the costs for such vehicles have been high - also because of the still very small number of models and infrastructure. In addition, the previous splitting of water is energy intensive. Some observers therefore see the fuel cell as a long-term solution.