Thursday, Sep 17, 2020

Hyundai Motor Co. has exported its fuel cell system to non-vehicle startups in Europe, expanding its hydrogen business beyond the automobile industry, the South Korean carmaker said on Sept. 16.

It recently shipped the fuel cell system it has developed to GRZ Technologies Ltd., a Swiss startup for hydrogen storage systems, as well as to an unidentified electric generator manufacturer in Europe.

Using Hyundai’s fuel cell system, GRZ plans to produce a stationary power supply system for producing electricity at peak times. The fuel cell system is used in Hyundai NEXO, its second-generation fuel cell SUV model introduced in 2018.

The unidentified electric generator maker in Europe will use the fuel system to produce mobile hydrogen generators, Hyundai said. Details on the value of the exports were not provided.

Hyundai Motor’s hydrogen fuel cell system

Hyundai Motor’s hydrogen fuel cell system

The export marked Hyundai’s first shipment of the fuel cell system to non-vehicle companies.

Since introducing hydrogen-powered electric vehicles in 2010, it has been seeking to diversify its hydrogen business into shipping vessels, railway cars and drones.

In July, it shipped the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell truck to Switzerland.

“Export of its fuel cell system … advances its strategy to become a smart mobility solution provider with fuel cell technology playing a pivotal role,” the company said in a statement.“Hyundai’s fuel cell system offers both diverse applicability and scalability well beyond zero-emissions vehicles.”

It plans to export the fuel cell system to the US, China and other global markets.

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 its previous models, with pressure below 30 bar, which is significantly lower than the usual hydrogen tank’s storage pressure of 200 to 500 bar.

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 shipping vessels, railway cars, drones and power generators by 2030.