Hyundai has made three strategic investments in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Specifically, the Korean manufacturer is investing in Impact Coatings, H2Pro and GRZ Technologies.
From the technologies of the three companies, the Koreans expect to reduce the production costs of fuel cell vehicles and make the hydrogen infrastructure safer and more affordable. The strategic investments come at a time when demand for fuel cell technology has increased, Hyundai says.
Swedish company Impact Coatings’ ceramic coatings are a cost-effective replacement for precious metals used in fuel cell production. The use of platinum has so far made many fuel cells very expensive. Under the new joint development agreement, Hyundai and Impact Coatings will “jointly research and develop a new generation of materials, processes and devices for a variety of applications”. One of them (and probably the most important one for Hyundai) is the fuel cell.
H2Pro is an Israeli start-up that has developed a water-gap technology that will enable Hyundai to reduce the cost of hydrogen production. Hyundai had already invested in the company in November 2018, so it is the second Korean investment in H2Pro.
The technology from the Swiss company GRZ Technologies stores hydrogen more safely at lower pressure and higher density. A lower storage pressure also reduces costs and energy consumption, as the compressors can become smaller and cheaper. Hyundai hopes that the investment will accelerate GRZ’s efforts to develop a cheaper and potentially more widely available hydrogen infrastructure.
“Our investment in these innovative companies will reduce the production cost of FCEVs and enhance the safety and affordability of hydrogen infrastructure,” said Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer, Hyundai Motor Group. “We hope to accelerate the widespread adoption of hydrogen technology by making FCEVs more accessible for our customers.”
This week Hyundai introduced a hydrogen truck in the USA. With this vehicle, the Koreans want to explore the possibilities in the US commercial vehicle market. Hyundai is also relying heavily on fuel cells in its South Korean home market.
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