Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors (GWM) plans to invest CNY3bn (US$456m) in hydrogen-related research and development over the next three years, as it looks to become a significant player in the global fuel cell vehicle market.

The company hosted the GWM Hydrogen Energy Strategy conference at the Haval Technology Center in the city of Baoding in Hebei province, in which it pledged to build an international supply chain integrating all elements of the hydrogen eco-system including “hydrogen production, storage, transportation, refueling and application”.

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The automaker said it aims to “break barriers in terms of core technologies and connect the downstream industry chain, accelerating the commercial popularization of hydrogen energy”.

GWM plans to expand production and sales of core components and systems in China and aims to become one of the country's top three hydrogen powertrain suppliers by 2025. It plans to expand its production capacity to 10,000 hydrogen powertrain systems per year.

The company said it is scheduled to launch its first hydrogen fuel cell SUV model later this year, which will have a range of 840km, and will also produce a fleet of 100 hydrogen-powered heavy trucks.