South Korean government trims orders for Hyundai Nexo hydrogen-fuel cars

Hyundai Nexo self-driving prototype

Hyundai Nexo self-driving prototype

Nine months after announcing its intention to buy 10,000 Hyundai Nexo hydrogen-fueled cars, the South Korean government has halved its order.

That's according to Business Korea, which said Tuesday that a report published by the government earlier this month indicated that the government plans to purchase 5,000 Nexo vehicles over the next two years. 

MORE: Hyundai Nexo fuel-cell SUV verdicts: classy, zippier, still a "niche vehicle"

To keep the 378-mile range Nexos moving, the South Korean government has said that it plans to subsidize construction of 130 hydrogen fueling stations by 2020. About a dozen have been built so far.

The article speculates that strong consumer demand for the Nexo may have prompted the government to dial back its plans.

About 1,000 Nexo vehicles were sold in Korea during the model's first week on sale, Business Korea said. The Nexo, a small crossover that emits only water from its tailpipe, is expected to go on sale in the U.S. by the end of this year.

Though the Nexo may not be a household name in the U.S., Hyundai is eager to use its new vehicle to promote its Level 4 self-driving technology.

Hyundai said in February that it will offer a Nexo that can operate without human input in certain driving situations by 2021.

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