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Rolls-Royce & Hyundai Motor to partner on electric and hydrogen fuel cell technology for advanced air mobility market

Rolls-Royce and Hyundai Motor Group plan to collaborate on bringing all-electric propulsion and hydrogen fuel cell technology to the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) market. The partnership will leverage Rolls-Royce’s aviation and certification capabilities and Hyundai Motor Group’s hydrogen fuel cell technologies and industrialization capability.

Both companies share a vision of leading the way in the AAM market delivering battery-electric and fuel cell electric solutions to the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and Regional Air Mobility (RAM) markets and advancing sustainable aviation.

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Rolls-Royce and Hyundai Motor Group includes five strategic aims:

  • Collaborating on the technology development and requirements of power and propulsion systems for Hyundai’s Advanced Air Mobility Division.

  • Collaborating on the industrialization of Rolls-Royce power and propulsion systems for the Advanced Air Mobility market.

  • Development of electric propulsion systems based upon hydrogen fuel cells as an energy source for Hyundai’s RAM platforms.

  • Collaborating to bring to market a joint fuel-cell electric propulsion system to the wider AAM market.

  • Delivering a joint fuel-cell electric aircraft demonstration by 2025.

The benefits of using a hydrogen fuel cell system in an all-electric aircraft propulsion system is that it is a zero-emission, silent and reliable on-board power source that enables scalability in power offerings as well as long distance flight range. Hyundai will work with Rolls-Royce to bring hydrogen fuel cells, storage systems and infrastructure to the aerospace markets, and advance this technology into Hyundai’s RAM vehicles and Rolls-Royce all-electric and hybrid-electric propulsion system offerings.

Last year, Rolls-Royce announced a pathway to net zero carbon emissions and its electrical technology is one way in which the company is helping decarbonize critical parts of the global economy. Rolls-Royce is committed to ensuring its new products will be compatible with net-zero carbon operation by 2030 and all its products will be compatible with net-zero carbon by 2050.

Hyundai Motor Group earlier this year announced its AAM business roadmap, which encompasses the UAM and RAM segments to offer eco-friendly air mobility solutions for people within and between cities. Hyundai Motor Group’s US-based Supernal unit is aiming to begin commercial services of UAM businesses in the US in 2028 while Hyundai Motor Group plans to launch RAM services in the 2030s.

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