Powertrain companies Hyundai and Cummins have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to jointly develop and commercialise electric and fuel cell powertrains.
These new powertrains are expected to be developed by combining Hyundai’s fuel cell systems with Cummins’ electric powertrain, battery, and control technologies. The initial development will be focused on the North American commercial vehicle market, including working with North American Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) on the integration of these systems into their vehicles. The companies will also explore ways they can work together to develop next generation fuel cell systems and have each committed to assign a team of individuals to investigate and pursue other areas of collaboration.
“This partnership is a terrific opportunity for both companies to leverage our respective strengths and create new opportunities to grow and broaden the product portfolio we bring to our customers,” says Thad Ewald, vice president, Corporate Strategy, Cummins. “We’ve made significant investments over the past year to accelerate our fuel cell capabilities including our acquisition of Hydrogenics and this partnership is another step forward,” he says.
“With Hyundai’s global leadership in fuel cell systems coupled with Cummins’ unparalleled electrified powertrain technologies, we expect this partnership to leave a mark in the commercial vehicle market,” says Saehoon Kim, vice president and head of Fuel Cell Group at Hyundai. “Collaborations such as this will enable us to further diversify our business, as well as reinforce our global hydrogen leadership through sales of new and existing Hyundai fuel cell systems.”
This partnership provides a springboard for Hyundai to increase its presence in the North American commercial vehicle market, and Cummins to enhance its electrified power product portfolio by adding Hyundai’s advanced fuel cell technologies.
The new collaboration may extend beyond the commercial vehicle market, as the companies will also evaluate the development of fuel cell power generators. The availability of reliable back-up power generation to prevent data loss in emergency situations is a business-critical requirement for many organisations. Fuel cell back-up power generation is attractive for its reduced carbon footprint.
The MOU comes at a time of heightened demand for fuel cell technology. Hydrogen can be produced from renewable sources, stored economically, and deployed for a diverse range of industrial and residential energy-generation applications; as well as used in fuel cell passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Energy experts predict hydrogen will become increasingly important in meeting fast-growing global energy demand, while also supporting efforts to drive down carbon emissions from energy generation.