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Hydrogen economy

Hyundai Motor, INEOS team up to explore growth in hydrogen economy

Nov 23, 2020 (Gmt+09:00)

South Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Co. and London-based chemicals company INEOS have teamed up to explore new business opportunities in the global hydrogen economy.

Hyundai Motor said On Nov. 23 that the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding on Nov. 20 to “jointly investigate opportunities for the production and supply of hydrogen as well as the worldwide deployment of hydrogen applications and technologies.”

Hyundai Motor’s R&D chief Albert Biermann (left) and INEOS CTO Peter Williams sign hydrogen MOU

Under the initial agreement, the two companies will seek to facilitate public and private sector projects focused on the development of a hydrogen value chain in Europe.

In line with the move in Europe, Hyundai said they have formed a consultative body to work closely with the EU, European governments and private companies to seek immediate business opportunities.

The MOU will allow Hyundai Motor to provide its fuel cell technology to the Grenadier, an off-road four-wheel-drive SUV being developed by the British company’s subsidiary INEOS Automotive. In exchange, Hyundai will be able to buy hydrogen from the chemicals group.

HYUNDAI’S FUEL CELL SYSTEM, PROVEN TECHNOLOGY

“INEOS’ move into the development of a fuel cell electric vehicle and hydrogen ecosystem marks yet another milestone toward sustainable and clean transportation,” Kim Sae-hoon, vice president and chief of Hyundai’s Fuel Cell Center, said in a statement.

Hyundai’s fuel cell system has already been applied to the Hyundai NEXO, the world’s first hydrogen-powered SUV that has the longest driving range of hydrogen vehicles in the market, hydrogen truck XCIENT and fuel cell bus Elec City.

Hyundai Motor's XCIENT fuel cell hydrogen truck

In September, Hyundai exported four fuel cell systems to Swiss hydrogen storage tech firm GRZ Technologies SA and a European energy startup.

“The agreement between INEOS and Hyundai presents both companies with new opportunities to extend a leading role in the clean hydrogen economy,” said Peter Williams, chief technology officer of INEOS.

The shift away from internal combustion engines to batteries and hydrogen power is forcing automakers to set up new supply chains.

Through its subsidiary INOVYN, INEOS is Europe’s largest existing operator of electrolysis, which uses renewable energy to produce hydrogen for power generation, industry and transport. The group produces 300,000 tons of hydrogen annually as a byproduct from its chemicals operations.

Hyundai Motor Group is leading the South Korean government’s campaign to replace combustion engine automobiles with hydrogen fuel cell cars and electric battery vehicles.

Hyundai Motor's Elec City hydrogen fuel cell bus exported to Saudi Aramco 

HYUNDAI’S FUEL CELL VISION 2030

In 2018, Hyundai unveiled its mid- to long-term fuel cell roadmap, under which the automaker aims to increase annual production of hydrogen fuel cell systems to 700,000 units by 2030.

In July of this year, the company shipped 10 XCIENT fuel cell hydrogen-powered trucks to Switzerland. Hyundai plans to deliver an additional 40 such vehicles to the European country by the end of this year.

In September, Hyundai shipped four hydrogen vehicles – two NEXO crossover SUVs and two fuel cell Elec City buses – to Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Aramco), the world’s largest oil producer.

Write to Sun A Lee at suna@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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