Hyundai and Rolls-Royce give themselves three years to get their hydrogen air cab to fly


Hyundai has signed a memorandum of understanding with Europe’s Rolls-Royce to develop electric and hydrogen propulsion systems for the air mobility market.

The partnership will leverage Rolls-Royce’s expertise in the aeronautical sector and Hyundai’s industrial and hydrogen technology capabilities. The goal? To have the first air cab ready by 2025.

The MOU between Hyundai Motor Group and Rolls-Royce includes five strategic objectives: collaboration between Rolls-Royce and specifically Hyundai’s Advanced Air Mobility division on technology development and solutions related to propulsion and electric systems; collaboration for the industrialization of Rolls-Royce’s electric and propulsion systems intended for the Advanced Air Mobility market; development of hydrogen fuel cell-based electric propulsion systems as a power source for Hyundai’s Regional Air Mobility platform; collaboration to bring to market a joint hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system targeting the Advanced Air Mobility Market; and delivery of a demonstrative jointly developed fuel cell electric air cab in 2025.

Jaiwon Shin, president of Hyundai Motor Group: “We are delighted with this partnership with Rolls-Royce that will help us leverage their aeronautics expertise to accelerate the development of hydrogen fuel cell propulsion systems. Hyundai has successfully developed hydrogen fuel cell systems for the global automotive market and is now exploring the feasibility of electric and hydrogen propulsion technologies for integration into aerial vehicles. We believe this is going to be the key technology to drive the global aviation industry towards the goal of net zero CO2 by 2050.”

Rob Watson, Chairman of Rolls-Royce Electrical: “It is a pleasure for Rolls-Royce to partner with Hyundai Motor Group, a partnership that will provide us with an unparalleled opportunity to leverage our respective capabilities, which come from the aerospace and automotive sectors. The Advanced Air Mobility market offers great commercial potential, and this collaboration reinforces our joint ambitions to lead the Advanced Air Mobility race. It is also a further expression of the role Rolls-Royce is going to play in developing solutions that are set to enable sustainable travel and also set to help on the road to 2050 of net zero CO2.”

According to Hyundai, the benefits of using hydrogen fuel cell systems in the context of an all-electric air propulsion system are net zero CO2, silent flight and the reliability offered by an energy source that is scalable in terms of power and capable of providing the range required to meet the needs of long-haul flights. According to the statement released yesterday by both companies, Hyundai Motor Group and Rolls-Royce share the same vision: they want to lead the race to the Advanced Air Mobility market by developing battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell solutions for the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and Regional Air Mobility (RAM) markets, as part of the transition to sustainable advanced aviation.

Nedim Husomanovic

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