Hyundai Motor Company has begun shipping its proprietary fuel cell system to Europe for use by non-automotive companies including a Swiss hydrogen solution firm, GRZ Technologies Ltd. Hyundai is targeting leadership in the development and mass production of fuel cell systems for vehicles and beyond.
Hyundai Motor’s fuel cell system leverages decades of experience. The company introduced its first fuel cell electric vehicle in 2000, the Santa Fe FCEV, followed by the world’s first mass-produced FCEV, the ix35, in 2013, and the second-generation fuel cell SUV, the NEXO, in 2018. Recently, the company successfully shipped the first 10 units of the XCIENT Fuel Cell, the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell heavy-duty truck, to Switzerland as well.
Hyundai Motor and GRZ Technologies have been pushing for cooperation in hydrogen storage technology since late last year. GRZ has the technology to store about five to ten times more hydrogen than before, with a pressure lower than 30 bar, which is significantly lower than the storage pressure of a normal hydrogen storage tank, 200 to 500 bar. It is expected that this technology will be used in various ways through cooperation between the two companies in the future.
Using Hyundai’s fuel cell system, the company plans to produce a stationary power supply system to be used for building electricity at peak times. The fuel cell system is based on the one used in Hyundai NEXO.
In addition, Hyundai began shipping the fuel cell system to an energy solutions startup that manufactures electric generators. The startup will use Hyundai’s system to produce mobile hydrogen generators.
“Hyundai’s fuel cell systems offer both diverse applicability and scalability well beyond zero-emissions vehicles,” said Saehoon Kim, Senior Vice President and Head of Fuel Cell Center at Hyundai Motor Group. “By leveraging our system, our partners in mobility, infrastructure and energy can further advance the potential for a comprehensive hydrogen ecosystem.”
Hyundai Motor in July announced a plan to respond to the South Korean government’s Green New Deal policy with the export of hydrogen fuel cell systems, while steadily seeking to diversify its hydrogen business to secure leadership in the global market.
In December 2018, Hyundai Motor Group announced its long-term roadmap, ‘Fuel Cell Vision 2030’, and reaffirmed its commitment to accelerate the development of a hydrogen society by leveraging its global leadership in fuel cell technologies. As part of this plan, Hyundai Motor Group aims to secure a 700,000-unit-a-year production capacity of fuel cell systems for automobiles as well as for non-automotive sectors such as vessels, rail cars, drones and power generators by 2030.