SEOUL, Oct. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s biggest carmaker by sales, said Wednesday it will invest in three hydrogen companies in its latest move to boost competitiveness in hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles.
The three companies are Sweden’s Impact Coatings AB, Israel’s H2Pro and Switzerland’s GRZ Technologies.
Hyundai Motor expects its partnerships with them to help accelerate hydrogen technology development, the company said in a statement.
“Our investment in these innovative companies will reduce the production cost of fuel-cell electric vehicles and enhance the safety and affordability of hydrogen infrastructure,” said Chi Young-cho, president and chief innovation officer at Hyundai Motor Group.
Impact Coatings is a leading supplier of physical vapor deposition-based coating solutions for fuel cells.
The Swedish firm’s ceramic coatings are a cost-efficient substitute for the precious metals used in fuel cell production, the statement said.
Hyundai Motor and Impact Coatings will jointly research and develop a new generation of solutions for fuel cells, it said.
H2Pro, an Israeli startup, has developed an electrochemical, thermally active chemical (E-TAC) water splitting technology that is efficient, affordable and safe.
The E-TAC technology will help Hyundai Motor lower the cost of hydrogen vehicle production, the company said.
GRZ Technologies has expertise in hydrogen energy storage. Its technology stores hydrogen more safely at lower pressure with higher density.
Hyundai Motor’s investment in GRZ will help its efforts to commercialize hydrogen infrastructure for greater accessibility for customers, it said.
The company didn’t provide the value of investments.
Hyundai Motor has taken the lead in the development of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
It became the world’s first carmaker to commercialize a hydrogen-powered vehicle by launching the ix35 (or Tucson) Fuel Cell sport utility vehicle in 2013. It currently sells the Nexo hydrogen model in global markets.
Hyundai Motor Group, which aims to become a future mobility solutions provider, announced in December that it will invest 7.6 trillion won (US$6.7 billion) in hydrogen car-producing facilities and related research and development activities by 2030.
The global hydrogen vehicle market is expected to grow at an average of 6 percent annually to $2.5 trillion by 2050 from $129 billion in 2017, according to a McKinsey & Co. report published in January 2017.
The South Korean government expects the domestic hydrogen market to reach 70 trillion won by 2050.