Hyundai, Kia and Next Hydrogen to explore advanced alkaline water electrolysis technology

Hyundai, Kia and Next Hydrogen to explore advanced alkaline water electrolysis technology

Hyundai Motor and Kia will collaborate with Next Hydrogen to develop a new, innovative advanced alkaline water electrolysis system with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) unveiled today (July 8).

The groups collectively believe that this will bolster efforts to develop a global hydrogen society through cost-effective production of clean hydrogen.

Under the agreement, the companies will jointly develop the water electrolysis system in addition to its related stack for the purpose of generating green hydrogen in a cost-effective manner and explore new business opportunities and technological applications.

Whilst exploring different ways to produce hydrogen, Next Hydrogen, Hyundai and Kia identified alkaline water electrolysis as technologically one of the most rigorously tested and proven methods.

As well as this, it holds the advantage of being able to produce large-scale hydrogen and use relatively inexpensive catalysts meaning that the price to make hydrogen is lower.

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The aim is to advance stack-related technologies that are at the core of the alkaline water electrolysis system to reduce the cost of building the system and maintaining/operating the system.

The key benefit to be derived from the project is that by enhancing the performance of stack-related technologies in the alkaline water electrolysis process, it will be possible to develop a new stack which can be operated at high current density and produce green hydrogen economically.

The newly developed stack will use Hyundai Motor and Kia’s component technology related to electrodes, bipolar plates and current collectors, combined with Next Hydrogen’s design technology.

Hyundai Motor and Kia will also oversee the test performance of the new stack with a pilot test planned for next year.

Jae-Hyuk Oh, Vice-President and Head of Energy Business Development Group at Hyundai Motor Group, said, “We are pleased to partner with Next Hydrogen specialising in state-of-the-art water electrolysis technology.

“This partnership is another leap forward for our hydrogen business and will be our first step into the alkaline water electrolysis market.

“We believe our technology will be an excellent match for Next Hydrogen’s technology, and this synergy will help achieve our goal to provide our customers with cost-effective green hydrogen.”

Hyundai: Leading the way for hydrogen-powered SUVs in the US

© Hyundai

Offering the only hydrogen-powered SUV in the US market, Hyundai Motor Company prides itself in its commitment to clean energy and fuel cell stack technology.

Hyundai started its commitment to hydrogen around 21 years ago, right at the turn of the century, and since that point the vehicle manufacturer has not looked back.

The NEXO, Hyundai’s latest fuel cell vehicle offering, was launched in 2019 and has since taken the Californian market by storm, with approximately 400-500 units running in the sunshine state right now.

Speaking to H2 View in a recent interview about the company’s hydrogen activities, Derek Joyce, Senior Manager, Product and Advanced Powertrain PR at Hyundai, said, “Right now, all of them [NEXO FCEVs] are in California. The main consumer focus is California because that’s where there are about 50 stations in operation.

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