Hyundai Motor to adapt its fuel cells for ships

Hyundai Motor, one of the world’s largest automotive groups, is set to enter the shipbuilding sector, delivering fuel cell electric propulsion systems from next year.

The Korean firm has signed a memorandum of understanding with compatriots Hyundai Heavy Industries and Korean Register to commercialise a small-sized maritime fuel cell model next year and larger systems after that.

“This MoU signals Hyundai Motor’s entry into the fuel cell-powered marine vessel market,” Hyundai Motor’s fuel cell center head Kim Sae-hoon said in a statement on July 8.

As well as shipping, Hyundai Motor is trying to sell its fuel cell technology to rail firms and power generation companies.

Hyundai Motor is not the only automaker looking to maximise revenues from their pioneering fuel cell tech by targeting shipping. Japanese car giant Toyota has developed a fuel cell system for maritime applications, which it is now actively marketing.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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