The Hyundai Motor Group has partnered with the Volkswagen Group in Germany to promote hydrogen-fueled vehicles.
The Korean auto giant announced on June 20 that Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors and Audi of the Volkswagen Group signed a partnership agreement to jointly develop fuel cell technology for hydrogen cars.
Under the agreement, the two companies will share patents and key components to spread hydrogen technology and revitalize the hydrogen car market. The two also agreed to steadily expand technology collaboration in order to preempt the hydrogen car market and secure technology leadership.
"We expect that cooperation with Audi will revitalize the global hydrogen vehicle market and accelerate the development of the hydrogen-related industries. We hope this provides a turning point for the creation of an innovation ecosystem," said Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor.
"Collaboration with strong partners like the Hyundai Motor Group will be a smart way to innovate technology in the hydrogen car sector," said Peter Mertens, an Audi official in charge of technology development.
Hyundai Motor is a leader in the development of hydrogen vehicles. It began to mass-produce hydrogen cars ahead of other automakers. Its collaboration with the Volkswagen Group, the world's largest car maker, will expedite the advent of the hydrogen car era.
Experts say that the two sides decided to collaborate because of their converging interests in China. The Chinese government is bent on building a “hydrogen society.” It is set to abolish its subsidy program for electric vehicles, but its hydrogen car subsidy program (about 34 million won per vehicle) will stay. Furthermore, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has come up with a regulation requiring automakers producing and importing more than 30,000 internal-combustion engine vehicles annually to make sure that models powered by new and renewable energy account for 10% of their vehicles in 2019 and 20% in 2020.