Hyundai Motor signs MOU to commercialise hydrogen fuel cell propulsion systems for marine vessels.

08 July, 2021

  • Hyundai Motor to collaborate with partner companies to apply its fuel cell system technology to marine vessel propulsion systems
  • Collaboration to usher in a new era of eco-friendly marine vessels and serve as a platform to identify and evaluate business opportunities for fuel cell-propelled ships
  • Propulsion systems for small-sized vessels scheduled to launch in second half of 2022, with plans for mid- to large-sized models to follow

Hyundai Motor Company announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hyundai Global Service, a South Korean manufacturer specialising in ship electric propulsion systems and a subsidiary of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, and Korean Register (KR), South Korea’s one and only internationally recognised classification society, to develop and commercialise 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,” said Saehoon Kim, Executive Vice President and Head of Fuel Cell Centre at Hyundai Motor Group. “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.”

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 commercialise 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 make a splash in the green vessel market beginning with a small-sized model in the second half of 2022. In the mid- to long-term period, the three partners will focus on developing and introducing propulsion systems for mid- to large-sized vessels.

Hyundai Motor has remained at the forefront of the hydrogen economy since the commercialisation of the ix35 fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) in 2013 - a world first. 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.

Hyundai Motor Group, the parent of Hyundai Motor, has also recently introduced ‘HTWO’, a new brand representing the Group’s world-leading hydrogen fuel cell system.