A deal between Hyundai and Audi was established last Wednesday to join forces in the developing of hydrogen car technology with the aim to improve an energy segment that has been lagging behind battery electric vehicles.

South Korean born Hyundai want to increase the acceptance of hydrogen cars, which are propelled by electricity and generated by fuel cells. Yet, they have been held back due to a lack of infrastructure as well as the growing push for battery electric vehicles by companies such as Tesla.

This new partnership allows for both companies to access one another’s intellectual property and share mechanical apparatuses, including new parts that have been developed by Audi – who are responsible for hydrogen fuel cell technology in the Volkswagen Group.

Hyundai are eager to generate a greater demand for hydrogen vehicles such as their ix35 model with the ambition to reduce costs to make the technology more financially accessible to customers and therefore profitable for Hyundai and Audi.

The head of Hyundai’s R&D fuel cell group, Sae Hoon Kim said:

“We want to provide to our component suppliers more chance and we want to have competition between component suppliers. We also want to make them to have competition with other suppliers, and that competition will bring down the cost.”

Car manufacturers like Toyota have advertised the benefits of hydrogen vehicles, such as the lessened time it takes to refuel in comparison to the time it takes to recharge a battery electric car. However this is outweighed by the fact that hydrogen vehicles are costly and currently suffer from a shortage of refuelling stations.

Unlike Hyundai and Audi, other car manufacturers are focusing their development on battery electric cars which can take between half an hour and half a day to charge. This may sound like a somewhat disadvantage, however there are becoming a growing number of charging points, which is an advantage that hydrogen vehicles lack.

Nonetheless, Sae Hoon Kim positively stated that the toughening European Union carbon emission limits in 2025 shall create a heightened need for hydrogen cars, benefiting the Hyundai and Audi partnership.

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