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Hyundai Motor signs MOU to commercialize hydrogen fuel-cell-propulsion systems for marine vessels

Hyundai Motor Company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hyundai Global Service, a South Korean manufacturer specializing in ship electric propulsion systems and a subsidiary of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, and Korean Register (KR), South Korea’s only internationally recognized classification society, to develop and commercialize hydrogen fuel cell systems to propel marine vessels.

The MOU marks a significant milestone for Hyundai Motor as it is the company’s first strategic partnership involving the application of its fuel cell system technology in the shipbuilding industry, spearheading a new generation of seafaring vessels.

This MOU signals Hyundai Motor’s entry into the fuel-cell-powered marine vessel market, made possible through our cooperation with Hyundai Global Service and Korean Register. We hope our decades-long experience and capabilities in hydrogen fuel cell technologies, combined with the expertise of Hyundai Global Service and Korean Register in the maritime industry, will usher in a new era of greener and cleaner shipping.

—Saehoon Kim, Executive Vice President and Head of Fuel Cell Center at Hyundai Motor Group

The collaboration is also expected to serve as a platform to identify and evaluate business opportunities for fuel-cell-powered ships, positioning Hyundai Motor as a leader in the global eco-friendly vessel industry and development of hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion systems.

Hyundai Motor will supply the fuel cell systems and provide technical support, while Hyundai Global Service will manufacture and commercialize the fuel-cell-based propulsion systems. Korean Register will be responsible for establishing standards for type approval, which all fuel cell-propelled vessels of varying sizes must meet to receive an approval for commercial use.

The cooperative project aims to begin with a small model in the second half of 2022. In the mid- to long-term, the three partners will focus on developing and introducing propulsion systems for mid- to large-sized vessels.

Hyundai Motor commercialized the Tucson ix35 fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) in 2013. The company has since introduced other FCEVs, such as the flagship NEXO and XCIENT Fuel Cell heavy-duty truck.

With its proven track record of fuel cell system technologies in the automobile sector, the company is actively expanding the application of its fuel cell technology to other areas and industries, including sea vessels, railways, power generation and more.


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