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Hyundai Motor Signs MOU to Commercialize Hydrogen Fuel Cell Propulsion Systems for Marine Vessels

2021.07.08 08:30:00 No. 16688
  • · 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


SEOUL, July 8, 2021 – Hyundai Motor Company announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hyundai Global Service, a South Korean manufacturer specializing in ship electric propulsion systems and a subsidiary of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, and Korean Register (KR), South Korea’s one and only internationally recognized classification society, to develop and commercialize 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 Center 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 commercialize 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 commercialization of the Tucson 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. 



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About Hyundai Global Service

Hyundai Global Service, a subsidiary of HHI Holdings, offers various free and paid services tailored to the needs of shipbuilding and power generation sites. HGS has guaranteed over 3,600 commercial ships and over 40 site power plant locations in more than 700 clients around the world. 

Based on experiences and know-how that has been accumulated by Hyundai Heavy Industry Group for over the 40 years, Hyundai Global Service (HGS) will strengthen its key capacity through innovation and taking on new challenges, and will expand into new business areas in the future.

Recently Hyundai Global Service tries to make the Earth a better environment through applying Eco-friendly solution in the industry such as Electric Propulsion System (Hi-EPS)


About Korean Register (KR)

Korean Register was established in 1960 with the purpose of promoting safety of life, property and the protection of the marine environment. KR currently classes an international fleet of 3,050 vessels totaling 72 million GT. It is headquartered in Busan, South Korea with a network of 66 offices around the world. KR is authorized to perform statutory and certification services in 81 countries around the world.


About Hyundai Motor Company

Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is present in over 200 countries with more than 120,000 employees dedicated to tackling real-world mobility challenges around the globe.

Based on the brand vision ‘Progress for Humanity,' Hyundai Motor is accelerating its transformation into a Smart Mobility Solution Provider.

The company invests in advanced technologies such as robotics and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) to bring about revolutionary mobility solutions, while pursuing open innovation to introduce future mobility services. 

In pursuit of sustainable future for the world, Hyundai will continue its efforts to introduce zero emission vehicles equipped with industry-leading hydrogen fuel cell and EV technologies.

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