Hyundai and Kia have signed an MOU with Next Hydrogen Corporation, a Canadian subsidiary of Next Hydrogen Solutions specializing in water electrolysis technology. The agreement bolsters the auto makers’ efforts to encourage the cost-effective production of clean hydrogen.
Under the agreement, the companies will jointly develop an alkaline water electrolysis system and its related stack to generate green hydrogen economically while exploring new business opportunities and technological applications.
The companies are looking to improve the price competitiveness of clean hydrogen by examining the strengths and weaknesses of various water electrolysis technologies. Among the various methods of water electrolysis, the alkaline water electrolysis system is regarded as technologically one of the most rigorously tested and proven, with a long track record of research and development. It also has the advantage of being able to produce large-scale hydrogen using relatively inexpensive catalysts, making facility costs low.
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, maintaining and operating it. The key benefit the companies hope to derive from the project is an improvement in the performance of stack-related technologies in the alkaline water electrolysis process, to develop a new stack that can be operated at high current density and produce green hydrogen economically.
The newly developed stack will use Hyundai and Kia’s component technology related to electrodes, bipolar plates and current collectors, combined with Next Hydrogen’s design technology. Hyundai and Kia will also oversee the test performance of the new stack, with a pilot test planned for next year.
“We are pleased to partner with Next Hydrogen specializing 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,” said Jae-Hyuk Oh, VP and head of the Energy Business Development Group at Hyundai. “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.”