Hyundai Announces Partnership With Audi On Fuel Cell Technology

JUN 20 2018 BY MARK KANE 34

Hyundai Motor Company and Audi announced an extensive partnership in fuel cell technology between the brands and the groups (Hyundai Motor Group, including Kia and Audi’s parent Volkswagen Group).

Audi’s Fuel Cell Competence Center is located at the Neckarsulm site

The partnership is seen as a way to accelerate the development of hydrogen fuel cell cars that heavily lags behind the all-electric type, which are now sold in the millions around the world.

The first point of the agreement is patent cross-licensing that covers existing patents as well as those filed over the years to come.

The second point is to seek new business opportunities in the FCEV component industry – the components could be shared between the groups to reduce costs.

Audi (responsible for the development of fuel cell technology within the Volkswagen Group) intends to introduce a full-size SUV with hydrogen fuel cells (but only a small series run) at the beginning of the next decade. Still not a volume product though – even several years from now. Hyundai, on the other hand, is supplying only hundreds of FCEVs annually with hopes for a 1,000 in 2019.

Despite the fact that hydrogen fuel cell cars are struggling to take off, we should note that their performance has improved over time, as we can see in the example of the Hyundai NEXO FCEV.

Audi h-tron quattro concept

“The partnership between Hyundai Motor Group and Audi will leverage collective R&D capabilities in fuel cell technology to elevate their presence in the FCEV market. Therefore, the agreement also includes mutual access to fuel cell components. As a first step, Hyundai Motor Group will grant its counterpart the access to parts that are based on Hyundai’s know-how accumulated from the development of ix35 Fuel Cell as well as NEXO.

Audi – responsible for the development of fuel cell technology within the Volkswagen Group – will also be able to take full advantage of Hyundai’s FCEV parts supply chain. Hyundai Motor Company, the world’s first mass-producer of fuel cell vehicles, has been offering SUV-Class FCEVs since 2013, and currently sells them in 18 countries around the world.”

Partnership beyond patent sharing
Hyundai Motor Group and Audi have also agreed to explore opportunities for a next step in their collaboration. This next step will aim to lead industry standards in fuel cell technology as well as accelerate FCEV development and spur innovation in this technology, providing more advanced mobility options to customers.

Alliance opens new doors for the Group’s fuel cell components business

Audi h-tron quattro concept

Hyundai Motor Group also plans to strengthen its competitiveness in the fuel cell components industry, engaging in new business opportunities created by the new partnership. Hyundai Mobis (Mobis), the leading FCEV’s components manufacturer of the Group, is expected to continuously expand its role for developing and supplying proprietary core components for Hyundai and Kia FCEVs.

In 2017, Mobis became the first company in the world to establish an integrated production system for core components of FCEVs. The company’s plant in Chungju, South Korea, currently has the production capacity of 3,000 powertrain fuel cell complete (PFC) modules per year. PFC modules are comprised of fuel stacks, drive motors, power electronic components and hydrogen fuel supply units. Mobis will raise the plant’s capacity to tens of thousands of PFC modules down the road, depending on market demand.

Long ranges and short refueling times make hydrogen an attractive future source of energy for electric mobility. This is particularly true for larger automobiles, where the weight advantages of the fuel cell vehicle inherent to its design are particularly pronounced. Key aspects for its future market success include the regenerative production of hydrogen and the establishment of a sufficient infrastructure.

Hyundai NEXO hydrogen fuel cell cars

Hyundai Motor Group, taking the lead in FCEV deployment, is striving to develop FCEVs that exceed the expectations of traditionally-powered vehicles, in terms of safety, reliability, range and specification. The Group is further strengthening its global leadership with an all-new hydrogen-powered SUV, NEXO, with enhanced range and fuel efficiency. NEXO comes with motor power of 120kW*, 20% better than its predecessor Tucson Fuel Cell (also known as ix35 Fuel Cell). NEXO is built on a new dedicated fuel cell platform, which gives it greater power and better driving dynamics than earlier generation FCEVs.

* Based on certifications in US / Europe

Euisun Chung, Vice Chairman at Hyundai Motor Company said:

“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. We are confident that the Hyundai Motor Group-Audi partnership will successfully demonstrate the vision and benefits of FCEVs to the global society.”

Peter Mertens, Board Member for Technical Development at AUDI AG said:

“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. 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.”

Categories: Audi, Hyundai

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34 Comments on "Hyundai Announces Partnership With Audi On Fuel Cell Technology"

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Where are all the comments how fuel cells are absurd?
These companies don’t waste money for the fun of it.

Fool cells!!!

Don’t you get tired of writing “fool cells” at some point?

Another Euro point of view

Tesla fans are as predictable as Tesla haters, we should maybe try to find an island for all of them.

Since you are a “Tesla hater”, then please do practice voluntary deportation to that island immediately.

LOL…right? So nice of him to self deport.

“Self deport”. Thank you! That’s the term I was trying to think of.

I’m not a Tesla fan but fool cells are inefficient

Don’t fool cell fanboys get tired of writing their science-denier comments at some point?

Apparently not…

Fool cells!!!

Not a fan of the proposed hydrogen economy, but that statement was funny. 😄

What a waste

“….These companies don’t waste money for the fun of it…”. That’s a point SJC; perhaps the holy grail for fuel-celled vehicles is China where they do not have a fully developed gasoline distribution system as we do in North America. There must be something in Carbon Credits or other (to me unnatural, political) revenue streams they can exploit. It also seems while the Fuel Cell market is expanding, it is happening nowhere near as fast as Fuel-Cell vehicle proponents assumed years ago. Granted, electric cars are still at only a 5% penetration rate in California, and in Second Place (as far as vehicles sold) NY State where I am (1% penetration) , EV’s haven’t sold as high as EV proponents might have hoped for, nor has any variety of vehicles really been provided as of yet – but it has to be admitted by the Fuel Cell people that currently Battery EV’s and Plug in Hybrids sell far, far better and are more economical to produce and operate,. You can at least take solace that people like Pushi’s RIDICULOUS statements in the past have had to be ‘modified’, that Fuel Cells ‘Violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics” (he doesn’t have… Read more »

Either a bigger vehicle or a different storage system,would be advantageous, but they are advancing the technology and by sharing they get a great advantage, they still have a long way to go.

Another Fool Cell venture

I think it’s good that they are not giving up yet. This technology is far from maxed out.
But likely not going to be ready for the masses in time….

It was maxed out decades ago. Claiming otherwise is wishful thinking, not to mention trying to deny science is real.

Thank you for creating the article! I was thinking, I will have to create a forum post, as IEV doesn’t post fuel cell developments.
There is also a partnership between Honda and GM on similar lines. We should see significant cost reduction in the next 2-3 years ( or hope!).

So far, I’m enjoying my 350 mile 5-minute fill ups. My eyes are no longer stuck on the range all the time. No longer do I need the daily reminders to charge my car, and take long walks 2-4 times to the office charging spots.
However, right now the infrastructure and maintenance cost is high compared to number of cars. With more cars on the road, it should come down significantly. I am waiting for that day.

What FuelCell vehicle do You drive?

Only 350 mile fuel cell is the Clarity.

“My eyes are no longer stuck on the range all the time. ”
Yes, because the H stations are all over the place. Nice try. What a fool!

It’s going to be long wait. It’s always going to be just over the next horizon, in a few years or so.

Even as maintenance cost comes down, there will still be more maintenance.

The real kiss of death is infrastructure. It is possible to imagine hydrogen stations in densely populated areas and along interstates, but it is pretty close to impossible to provide the same infrastructure as gasoline which is what this solution is trying to replace. Even gasoline infrastructure is going to be impacted by EVs in 20 years as 30-40% make the change to electric. And there will be a fair number of ICEs for a long time. Hence, even at the crazy subsidized cost of providing such an infrastructure, there won’t be enough demand to match the gasoline hurdle that EVs are slowly breaking.

Having said that, I’m not saying H2 won’t play some niche roll in transportation, but it is most like to be used for storage. Not to mention the inefficiency that cannot be overcome by physics which was already stated.

But can’t drive out of California

I think the VW group initially wanted to develop the fuel cell technology all by themselves. But now that they are hemorrhaging money in the wake of dieselgate, this cost saving partnership makes all the sense in the world.

Throwing money away on trying to use compressed hydrogen as an everyday fuel, a tech which has been thoroughly proven to be wildly impractical, not to mention profligately wasteful and polluting, makes no sense at all.

Yes, it does make more sense to combine with a competitor so you hedge your loss. You still lose as it’s a losing technology but you lose less, and who knows maybe your partner will come up with something that loses less too.

You know if Rip Van Winkel had gone to sleep at the beginning of the development of FCV and woken up, as he did 20 years later, to be amazed by all the advances. In the case of fuel cells he would think he had just been napping.

Good grief! Why would Audi/Volkswagen want to join the insanity practiced by Toyota and a few other auto makers in throwing away perfectly good money on putting fool cell cars into production?

Despite VW’s corporate insanity in perpetrating the Dieselgate fraud, I thought they had more sense than this!
🙁 🙁 🙁

It might dawn on you one day that you don’t know the first thing about today’s hydrogen industry. Or maybe not.

Despite years of angry, ignorant, dismissive and rude posts about hydrogen fuel cells, the tech keeps advancing and now China is in the game. You lost. Deal. Or, don’t. Who cares.

If you want to live in your bubble world of wishful thinking, where physics is merely a matter of opinion and the Laws of Thermodynamics are just a suggestion, that’s your problem. Fortunately, nobody has to share your science-denier delusions.

P.S. — The laws of nature work in China just like everywhere else.

I currently drive a plug in car, but I just spent 48 hrs with an FCEV. It’s a game changer – most impressive thing I ever drove. I’m aware of the challenges, and I was once a firm disbeliever in H2. Am now on the fence and hoping it comes to pass. It’s a big step on from BEV if enough renewables capacity will exist to allow the efficiency trade-off.

“Hyundai and Audi betting on the wrong horse,…news at 11”

Just when they seem to have started off on a set path, turns out they’re still fooling around with fool cells. I think they want them to ultimately succeed because they require more parts there by keeping the parts supply business as unnecessarily large as it is today for ICE parts. They don’t want you to drive a simple vehicle with little maintenance requirements.

The biggest disappointment will be that Auto makers keep pushing this agenda until we are forced to take it. That will be a sad day when I can’t get a BEV because they have replaced them for FCEV. No more solar charging right in my own garage if these folks get their way 🙁