Hyundai Motor Group and AUDI AG have entered into a multi-year patent cross-licensing agreement, covering a broad range of fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) components and technologies.
Under the new partnership, the world’s fifth-largest auto-making group and the German premium car maker will make joint efforts in developing FCEVs, to lead the automotive industry to a more sustainable future.
The cross-license agreement has been signed between Hyundai Motor Company – the Group’s flagship car-making unit – and Audi but also covers and benefits both companies’ affiliates, including but not limited to Kia Motors Corporation and Audi’s parent company Volkswagen AG. Hyundai and Audi, as well as their affiliates will equally share the patent licenses over the years to come. The duration of the agreement has not been disclosed.
The partnership between Hyundai Motor Group and Audi will leverage collective R&D capabilities in fuel cell technology to elevate their presence in the FCEV market. Therefore, the agreement also includes mutual access to fuel cell components. As a first step, Hyundai Motor Group will grant its counterpart the access to parts that are based on Hyundai’s know-how accumulated from the development of ix35 Fuel Cell as well as NEXO.
Audi – responsible for the development of fuel cell technology within the Volkswagen Group – will also be able to take full advantage of Hyundai’s FCEV parts supply chain. Hyundai Motor Company, the world’s first mass-producer of fuel cell vehicles, has been offering SUV-Class FCEVs since 2013, and currently sells them in 18 countries around the world.
Partnership beyond patent sharing
Hyundai Motor Group and Audi have also agreed to explore opportunities for a next step in their collaboration. This next step will aim to lead industry standards in fuel cell technology as well as accelerate FCEV development and spur innovation in this technology, providing more advanced mobility options to customers.
Alliance opens new doors for the Group’s fuel cell components business
Hyundai Motor Group also plans to strengthen its competitiveness in the fuel cell components industry, engaging in new business opportunities created by the new partnership. Hyundai Mobis (Mobis), the leading FCEV’s components manufacturer of the Group, is expected to continuously expand its role for developing and supplying proprietary core components for Hyundai and Kia FCEVs.
In 2017, Mobis became the first company in the world to establish an integrated production system for core components of FCEVs. The company’s plant in Chungju, South Korea, currently has the production capacity of 3,000 powertrain fuel cell complete (PFC) modules per year. PFC modules are comprised of fuel stacks, drive motors, power electronic components and hydrogen fuel supply units. Mobis will raise the plant’s capacity to tens of thousands of PFC modules down the road, depending on market demand.