June 21, 2018 10:30
Hyundai and Audi are teaming up in the development of hydrogen fuel vehicles in a deal announced on Wednesday.
Hydrogen fuel vehicles are considered the ultimate environment-friendly car, as they purify air as they run. They emit zero gas, and can cover more distance with a shorter charge than electric vehicles.
Hyundai has been making huge investments in the development of hydrogen fuel vehicles, while Audi has been leading it in the Volkswagen Group, the world's largest automobile giant.
"This collaboration was made possible as both sides reached the consensus that the future for hydrogen fuel vehicles is bright. We hope to bring big changes to the current market," said a Hyundai spokesman.
With the deal, the two groups will share technologies and components that have been already patented or will be patented to fast-track development and reduce costs.
Hyundai began developing hydrogen fuel vehicles in 1998, and became the first carmaker in the world to commercially produce one in 2013 with the Tucson FCEV. Early this year it launched the Nexo, which can run 609 km with just a five-minute charge.
Hyundai is one of the leaders in the hydrogen car market along with Japan's Honda and Toyota, which released the Clarity in 2016 and the Mirai in 2014, respectively.
Audi first unveiled its hydrogen fuel concept named "h-tron" at the 2016 Detroit Motor Show, and is getting ready for its mass production in 2020.
The two groups want to create a bigger market for the cars whose sales reached only some 3,000 units last year, compared to 1.22 million electric cars.
"Our partnership with Audi will prove to be a turning point in promoting hydrogen fuel vehicles worldwide," said Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman of Hyundai.
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