SEOUL, Jun. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth-largest auto-making conglomerate by sales, said Wednesday that it has signed a multi-year patent cross-licensing deal with Audi AG on a broad range of fuel cell electric vehicle components and technologies.
The agreement — signed between Hyundai Motor Co. and Audi — covers existing patents as well as those to be filed over the years to come. It also covers and benefits both companies’ affiliates, including Kia Motors Corp. and Audi’s parent company, Volkswagen AG.
The partnership will leverage collective research and development capabilities in fuel cell technology to elevate the presence of Hyundai Motor Group and Audi in the fuel cell electric vehicle market, Hyundai said, without elaborating on the duration of the agreement.
Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman at Hyundai Motor, said the agreement demonstrated Hyundai’s strong commitment to creating a more sustainable future while enhancing consumers’ lives with hydrogen-powered vehicles, the fastest way to a 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,” Chung said.
A fuel-cell car only emits water vapor as it converts stored hydrogen into electricity, which turns the vehicle’s motor.
Global carmakers have been racing to go electric amid tightened regulations on emissions of greenhouse gases that scientists say are to blame for global warming.
As a first step, Hyundai Motor Group said it will grant the German premium car maker the access to parts that are based on Hyundai’s know-how accumulated from the development of ix35 fuel cell as well as NEXO hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle.
Hyundai Motor, the world’s first mass-producer of fuel cell vehicles, exported its hydrogen fuel cell versions of its popular Tucson iX sport utility vehicle, also known as ix35 fuel cell, to 17 countries.
Hyundai Motor Group also said it and Audi have agreed to explore opportunities for a next step in their collaboration. This next step will aim to set industry standards in fuel cell technology as well as accelerate fuel cell electric vehicle development and spur innovation in this technology.
“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,” said Peter Mertens, a board member for Technical Development at Audi AG.
“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.”