Audi AG and Hyundai Motor Group have partnered to develop fuel cell technology in the hopes of increasing their presence in the fuel cell electric vehicle market and creating a more sustainable future.
Hyundai was the first mass-producer of FCEVs. Most recently, Hyundai introduced the Nexo, the first dedicated hydrogen-powered SUV. As part of the cross-license agreement, both groups will have mutual access to fuel cell components. Therefore, Audi will have access to knowledge from the development of the Nexo and its predecessor, the Tucson Fuel Cell.
“The fuel cell is the most systematic form of electric driving and thus a potent asset in our technology portfolio for the emission-free premium mobility of the future,” said Peter Mertens, board member for Technical Development at Audi. “On our FCEV roadmap, we are joining forces with strong partners such as Hyundai. For the breakthrough of this sustainable technology, cooperation is the smart way to leading innovations with attractive cost structures.”
This is not the first time two car manufacturers have come together on fuel cell technology. Beginning in 2020, Honda and GM plan to mass produce advanced hydrogen fuel cell systems under their joint venture, Fuel Cell System Manufacturing.
Hydrogen allows for longer ranges and shorter refueling times compared to traditional electric cars. Audi is responsible for the development of fuel cell technology in the Volkswagen Group. In the start of the next century, Audi plans to release a small series production of a sporty SUV fuel cell model. The cross-license agreement with Hyundai aims to produce broader market offerings.
“This agreement is another example of Hyundai’s strong commitment to creating a more sustainable future whilst enhancing consumers’ lives with hydrogen-powered vehicles, the fastest way to a truly zero-emission world,” said Euisun Chung, vice chairman at Hyundai Motor Company. “We are confident that the Hyundai Motor Group-Audi partnership will successfully demonstrate the vision and benefits of FCEVs to the global society.”
The agreement still needs to be approved by applicable regulatory authorities, but once that’s out of the way, the partners will be poised to produce fuel cell technology faster and more efficiently than ever before.