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Hyundai Motor Company is partnering with University College London (UCL) to jointly research carbon-neutral future technologies in the fields of hydrogen production, fuel cells and electrification. 

Hyundai signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on ‘Cooperation in areas of Research and Development for Hydrogen Production, Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Electrification Technology’ with UCL at Mansion House in London last week. 

With both South Korea and UK aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, Hyundai is looking to accelerate the development of a hydrogen economy and realise a sustainable future mobility ecosystem through this MOU and continued research and development of eco-friendly technologies.

UCL is a leader in hydrogen-related technologies and has recently strengthened its capabilities in automotive electrification research with the establishment of the Advanced Propulsion Lab.

“Through joint research with UCL, one of the UK’s leading research universities, we will accelerate the pace of technological innovation in hydrogen production, fuel cells and electrification,” said Jaehoon (Jay) Chang, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company. “We hope that this collaboration will contribute to achieving carbon neutrality in the transportation sector, which is a goal shared by Korea and the UK.”

UCL president and provost, Dr Michael Spence said, “New technologies, such as hydrogen generation, EVs and fuel cells, are a fundamental part of international efforts to keep the global temperature rise within the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. This partnership will combine UCL’s world-leading engineering research with Hyundai’s expertise as one of the world’s leading automotive companies to accelerate the development of these vital technologies.”

Hyundai and UCL will jointly research future mobility technologies to realise carbon neutrality in the fields of hydrogen production, fuel cells and electrification. They also expect research collaboration on advanced materials, proprietary technologies and basic industrial technologies to be possible.

The car giant also aims to strengthen collaboration with UCL on joint carbon reduction research projects, building on the company’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.

Hyundai Motor plans to sell only zero-emission electrified vehicles by 2040 in major markets, starting with Europe in 2035, and will replace 100% of the electricity demand of its global operations with renewable energy by 2045.

As the world’s first company to commercialise a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) and make practical use of hydrogen energy, the company is also promoting the establishment of a hydrogen ecosystem and planning a Hydrogen Business Toolbox in partnership with its affiliates.

The Toolbox is a hydrogen business model in which the entire lifecycle is organically connected to achieve supply chain carbon neutrality. It encompasses the application of eco-friendly parts, such as green steel, the introduction of an eco-friendly logistics system using hydrogen energy, and the sale of FCEVs. The company plans to implement the Hydrogen Business Toolbox in the future, particularly within Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America.

Hyundai’s other initiatives include collaboration with Poh Tiong Choon Logistics (PTCL), a logistics company based in Singapore, to establish a hydrogen mobility ecosystem. Hyundai has also engaged in the development of hydrogen-electric city buses and large vans in partnership with Iveco Group, while introducing the XCIENT Fuel Cell electric heavy-duty truck in several markets and actively participating in air quality improvement projects in California.