Hyundai and Audi join forces on fuel cell tech

New fuel tech partnership between Hyundai and Audi extends to the rest of the VW Group and Kia

Hyundai Nexo - refuelling

Hyundai and Audi have announced plans to jointly develop fuel cell technology for use in future hydrogen-powered cars.

While Hyundai have just launched their second-generation fuel cell electric vehicle, the Nexo, Audi’s efforts have yet to get beyond the concept stage. However, by joining forces, the two brands claim that there will be cost and technology benefits, cutting prices and development times.

New Hyundai Nexo review

“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, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi.

The agreement applies to existing patents as well as future research and development, so it’s feasible that Audi could use some of the Nexo’s systems.

Technology developed through the partnership will be open to Audi’s VW Group stablemates, as well as Hyundai-owned Kia. Speaking to Auto Express, the vice-president of Hyundai’s fuel cell group, Sae Hoon Kim, said: “We’re still in the early stage of fuel cell development and there are some things we cannot solve all by ourselves. If you don’t share technologies you won’t survive.”

Hyundai hopes that the new partnership will increase interest among policy makers to improve the hydrogen-refuelling network.

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“Having the VW Group’s full support will help to open doors,” Sae Hoon Kim explained. “We need to create a bigger market and working with Audi will help us to do that.”

Hyundai could also collaborate with the German brand beyond the hydrogen tech. When asked if this could go as far as sharing platforms for fuel cell vehicles, Sae Hoon Kim told us: “Everything is open.”

Is there a future for Hydrogen? Let us know in the comments section below...

Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

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