Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Corporation, and W. L. Gore & Associates have entered into a partnership to develop advanced polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) technology for hydrogen fuel cell systems. The agreement was signed at the Mabuk Eco-Friendly R&D Center in Korea.
The collaboration will focus on key aspects of PEM development and testing protocols. The PEM is a critical component in a hydrogen fuel cell, conducting protons between two electrodes and preventing the direct combination of incoming hydrogen and oxygen gases. This process generates an electrical current that powers the vehicle, making the PEM a determinant of the fuel cell system’s performance and durability.
Hyundai, Kia, and Gore have a history of collaboration in the fuel cell field spanning over 15 years. Building on this relationship, the partnership will now concentrate on developing an optimal fuel cell system for commercial vehicles, with a particular emphasis on enhancing performance and durability.
Chang Hwan Kim, Head of Battery Development and Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Development at Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation, expressed optimism about the next phase of the partnership with Gore. He emphasized that the collaboration would leverage their 15-year history to advance fuel cell technology and lead the fuel cell electric vehicle market, thereby accelerating the transition towards a sustainable future.
Gore, a Delaware-based advanced materials company, brings its expertise in PEM, Catalyst coated Membrane, and MEA (Membrane Electrode Assembly) technology to the partnership. The collaboration aims to integrate Gore’s pioneering PEM technology with Hyundai and Kia‘s advanced fuel cell expertise to develop next-generation fuel cell systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and non-automotive sectors.
Michelle Augustine, Gore Clean Energy Business Group Leader, expressed anticipation about advancing their long-standing partnership with Hyundai and Kia. She stated that their advanced PEM technology solutions would enable Hyundai and Kia to deliver fuel cell vehicles that provide a performance and cost advantage to consumers.
This collaboration is a continuation of Hyundai Motor Group’s 25-year focus on hydrogen technology, which led to the establishment of the HTWO hydrogen business brand in 2020. The Group is actively expanding its fuel cell business globally, covering various sectors, including passenger and commercial vehicles, marine vessels, aerospace applications, power generation, and more.