Hyundai Motor Group and Audi have entered into a multiyear patent cross-licensing agreement covering a range of fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) components and technologies.
Under the new partnership, the world’s fifth-largest automaker and the German premium automaker will make joint efforts in developing FCEVs.
The cross-license agreement has been signed between Hyundai Motor Co. and Audi, but it also covers and benefits both companies’ affiliates, including but not limited to Kia Motors Corp. and Audi’s parent company, Volkswagen AG. Hyundai and Audi, as well as their affiliates, will equally share the patent licenses over the years to come. The duration of the agreement has not been disclosed.
The agreement also includes mutual access to fuel cell components. As a first step, Hyundai Motor Group will grant its counterpart access to parts that are based on Hyundai’s know-how accumulated from the development of the ix35 Fuel Cell, as well as NEXO.
Audi – responsible for the development of fuel cell technology within the Volkswagen Group – will also be able to take advantage of Hyundai’s FCEV parts supply chain. Hyundai Motor Co. has been offering SUV-class FCEVs since 2013 and currently sells them in 18 countries.
“This agreement is another example of Hyundai’s strong commitment to creating a more sustainable future whilst enhancing consumers’ lives with hydrogen-powered vehicles, the fastest way to a truly zero-emission world,” states Euisun Chung, vice chairman at Hyundai Motor Co. “We are confident that the Hyundai Motor Group-Audi partnership will successfully demonstrate the vision and benefits of FCEVs to the global society.”
“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,” adds Peter Mertens, board member for technical development at AUDI AG. “On our FCEV roadmap, we are joining forces with strong partners such as Hyundai. For the breakthrough of this sustainable technology, cooperation is the smart way to leading innovations with attractive cost structures.”
Hyundai Mobis, an FCEV components manufacturer for Hyundai, is expected to expand its role in developing and supplying proprietary core components for Hyundai and Kia FCEVs. Mobis’ plant in Chungju, South Korea, currently has a production capacity of 3,000 powertrain fuel cell complete (PFC) modules per year. Now, Mobis plans to raise the plant’s capacity to tens of thousands of PFC modules, depending on future market demand.