Cummins and Hyundai forge fuel cell partnership

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Cummins & carmaker Hyundai signed a MOU to work together on hydrogen fuel cell technology. (photo courtesy of BusinessWire)

COLUMBUS (Inside INdiana Business) — Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) has forged a partnership with the Hyundai Motor Company to develop and commercialize electric and fuel cell powertrains.

The two corporations have entered into a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on hydrogen fuel cell technology to take advantage of a developing global fuel cell market.

Hyundai has the fuel cell system expertise, while Cummins leads in the electric powertrain and battery technology.

“This partnership is a terrific opportunity for both companies to leverage our respective strengths and create new opportunities to grow and broaden the product portfolio we bring to our customers,” said Thad Ewald, vice president, corporate strategy, Cummins Inc. 

Ewald says Cummins’ acquisition of the Canada-based fuel cell producer Hydrogenics will help accelerate the joint venture efforts between Cummins and Hyundai.

“We expect this partnership to leave a mark in the commercial vehicle market,” said Saehoon Kim, vice president and head of Fuel Cell Group at Hyundai Motor Group. “Collaborations such as this will enable us to further diversify our business, as well as reinforce our global hydrogen leadership through sales of new and existing Hyundai fuel cell systems.”

The companies say the partnership will help Hyundai increase its presence in the North American commercial vehicle market. And for Cummins, a company deeply rooted in diesel and gas-fire engines and generators, this move will enhance its electrified power product portfolio.

In 2015, Hyundai released the first commercialized hydrogen-powered vehicle, the Tucson Fuel Cell. The carmaker says the second-generation fuel cell electric car, the 2019 NEXO, has a range of 380 miles. The auto, with a list price of about $58,000, is currently only available in California.

The companies say they will explore the development of fuel cell power generators.

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