Hyundai and Audi are the lead partners in a new collaboration between the VW Group and Hyundai-Kia to share hydrogen fuel cell technology and develop a hydrogen future for cars.
It would be easy to think that plug-in battery electric cars (BEVs) have reached a tipping point which will make them the de facto future for powering cars, especially as there does seem to be viable solid state battery technology on the horizon. But not necessarily.
Toyota are going big on a hydrogen fuel cell future and have announced a ten-fold increase in production in the next few years, aiming to deliver hydrogen fuel cell cars at the same price as a hybrid in just a few years time.
Now, Hyundai is partnering with Audi (effectively a partnership between Hyundai Kia and the VW Group) in what seems to be a bid to match Toyota’s ambitions with FCEVs by sharing their existing fuel cell technology and developing it further, aiming to speed up advances and reduce costs.
Of course, Hyundai has been putting FCEVs out in the real world for some time now, first with the ix35 FCEV and now with the new Hyundai Nexo, but this partnership will see Audi delivering production FCEVs too, rather than just the hydrogen concepts it’s delivered until now.
Hyundai’s Euisun Chung 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
And Audi’s Peter Mertens 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.
There are many naysayers for hydrogen fuel cell technology in cars, but the weight of both Toyota and this new Hyundai VW partnership augers well for its progress.