The Hyundai Motor Group has detailed its plans to add a dedicated hydrogen fuel cell sub-brand, following in the footsteps of a similar electric division, announced in August 2020.
The new company arm, dubbed Htwo (styled as HTWO), continues Hyundai’s existing background in hydrogen fuel cell development, which reaches back over 20 years.
Hyundai stopped short of detailing a full development roadmap for the new division, though claims its next-generation fuel cell system will be adaptable across multiple forms of mobility including automobiles, trains, (marine) vessels, and Urban Air Mobility – a ‘flying car’ program Hyundai is working on for use by Uber.
Hyundai's current fuel cell range includes the Nexo SUV, set for a limited introduction in Australia during 2021, along with an FCEV bus and Xcient truck range (pictured below). Previously, FCEV versions of the Tucson (as a test vehicle) and ix35 have also been available, with the ix35 claiming the title of first production fuel cell electric vehicle, when introduced in 2013.
The Htwo name itself represents the molecular formula for hydrogen, H2, but in a release from the South Korean brand, has also been chosen to represent Hydrogen and Humanity, “the two main pillars of Hyundai’s fuel cell business.”
Htwo will have a global reach, though initially the focus will remain on the Hyundai Motor Group’s primary FCEV markets of Korea, the United States, Europe and China.
As with the current development model, the Htwo program will continue to, not only develop fuel cell technologies in house, but also partner with hydrogen, energy, and logistics companies around the world to provide the necessary supporting infrastructure.
Currently in Australia, Hyundai’s Sydney head office is home to a permanent hydrogen refuelling station, and will continue in the same capacity when the Nexo (below) arrives next year.
Toyota has its own fuel cell development program, with the Mirai FCEV which is set to arrive in second-generation for a similar fleet and government trial program during 2021. Currently Toyota has a mobile refuelling solution, though is preparing to open a permanent site it its former production facility in Altone, Victoria, during 2021.
Hyundai’s alternative fuel diversification strategy also saw Ioniq turned into its own sub-brand earlier in 2020. With more advanced EV development and support infrastructure, Ioniq steps ahead of Htwo.
At the launch of the EV division, Hyundai detailed three confirmed models, the Ioniq 5 crossover, Ioniq 6 sedan, and Ioniq 7 large SUV and has since revealed a dedicated modular EV platform. At least initially, no such product plan has been laid out for Htwo.
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