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Hyundai Motor Working on Hydrogen Electric Vehicle Popularization
Partnerships Forged with Foreign Hydrogen Firms
Hyundai Motor Working on Hydrogen Electric Vehicle Popularization
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • October 31, 2019, 11:26
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Hyundai Motor's Tucson fuel cell electric vehicle

Hyundai Motor Co. announced on Oct. 30 that it would make a strategic investment in and conduct joint R&D with Impact Coatings, H2 Pro and GRZ Technologies to accelerate the popularization of hydrogen electric vehicles based on a reduction in the costs of hydrogen production and storage technology and key components. Impact Coatings is a Swedish company specialized in the coating of fuel cell separators, H2 Pro is an Israeli hydrogen production technology developer, and GRZ Technologies is a Swiss company developing hydrogen storage and compression technology.

According to Hyundai Motor, the investment and cooperation are expected to result in innovative commercial technologies for use in hydrogen electric vehicles and significantly lower vehicle manufacturing and hydrogen production costs. In addition, hydrogen electric vehicle prices and running costs are expected to be lowered and facilities such as hydrogen vehicle charging stations are expected to expand with fuel cell development and hydrogen production facilitated.

The collaboration between Hyundai Motor and Impact Coatings is related to fuel cells, which are the core of such vehicles. They are going to further refine the latter’s physical vapor deposition (PVD) ceramic coating technology for fuel cell separator coating and apply it to the former’s vehicles.

At the same time, Hyundai Motor will work on hydrogen production cost reduction with H2 Pro. The Israeli company’s water electrolysis technology is characterized by producing hydrogen even without a separator by using a unique catalyst instead of an expensive separator. The technology is expected to result in a much lower hydrogen production cost as the water electrolysis process does not require much electricity and expensive separators are not necessary.

GRZ Technologies, in the meantime, has an original technology for hydrogen storage and compression, its metal hydride hydrogen storage tanks are excellent in terms of safety and efficiency, and the tanks’ hydrogen storage capacities are five to 10 times those of general hydrogen storage tanks. Hyundai Motor and GRZ Technologies are going to reduce hydrogen vehicle charging costs by improving the tanks.

Hyundai Motor Group is working with a number of South Korean hydrogen technology developers, too. The group announced in December last year that it would produce at least 500,000 hydrogen electric vehicles a year in South Korea alone starting from 2031. To this end, the group is going to invest 7.6 trillion won in 124 local partner companies until 2030.