Hyundai Motor Group introduces dedicated fuel cell brand

FILE PHOTO: A Hyundai Motor’s Nexo hydrogen car is fuelled at a hydrogen station in Seoul, South Korea, August 13, 2019. Picture taken on August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

(Reuters) – South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group on Thursday said it is launching a brand dedicated to its hydrogen fuel cell system in a move meant to boost that business.

Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp, said the name ‘HTWO’ stands for the hydrogen molecule, H2, as well as “hydrogen” and “humanity.”

Hyundai said it is stepping up efforts to develop fuel cell systems that can be used in the Urban Air Mobility (UAM), auto, vessels and trains markets, with a focus on Korea, the United States, Europe and China.

Since introducing the ix35 fuel cell electric vehicle in 2013, Hyundai has added the NEXO SUV, the XCIENT fuel cell heavy duty truck and a fuel cell electric bus.

When he took over as Hyundai Motor Group’s group chairman in October, Euisun Chung identified hydrogen fuel cells, as well as autonomous driving, electrification, robotics and UAM – industry jargon for flying cars- as his initiatives for the future.

Hydrogen backers say it is cleaner than other carbon-cutting technologies because water and heat are the only byproducts and it can be made from numerous sources, including methane, coal, water, and even garbage. Fuel cell vehicles remain a niche technology, however, amid concerns about a lack of fueling stations, resale values and the risk of hydrogen explosions.