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Mobility future Hyundai is focusing on alternative drives

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G it is about the future of mobility, as we have known in this country since For a long time it seems to be very precise: Everything will be electric. Especially since the giant Volkswagen has been radically converting the group to an electric car with a lot of publicity, politicians and the public media are in great agreement on this point.

Which, however, in this 180-degree turn in the automotive sector in places What is overlooked is the diversity of needs. Urban and rural dwellers, commuters, commercial hauliers, families with many children, frequent professional drivers. And so on. They all need their own, individual solutions, for which a purely battery-electric vehicle will not always be the best, at least in the foreseeable future. Not to be forgotten are the necessities in developing and emerging countries, where a complete switch to the electric car is not possible at all due to a lack of infrastructure. Even in parts of Eastern and Southern Europe there is still a long way to go to a charging infrastructure that is reasonably suitable for everyday use, provided that electromobility in low-wage countries can be afforded at all.

Hydrogen as part of the solution

Against this background, Toyota in particular attracted attention with an alternative to the alternatives. The Japanese have always been rather skeptical about the pure BEV, especially in the vicinity of large cities in industrialized countries. The focus is therefore on hydrogen, gasoline-electric hybrids and, last but not least, on diesel for commercial vehicle applications. Rather unnoticed by the public, Hyundai is also taking a very similar approach. The best proof of this is that the Koreans have the Nexo, alongside Toyota's Mirai, the only regular fuel cell vehicle in Europe on the market.

Axel Wierdemann
Electrician with fuel cell: The Hyundai Nexo can be in Buy Germany regularly

At a workshop at the beginning of November, Hyundai Europe and several partners presented where the company's line will lead in the future. The reason for this was ideally suited: With the energy supplier Alpiq from Switzerland, the use of trucks with 'green' hydrogen will be promoted in a pilot project. From 2020 onwards, 50 trucks with fuel cell technology will be in operation, and within another five years up to 1,600 trucks.

Trucks with fuel cells

In the H2 XCient, Hyundai uses a total of seven hydrogen tanks, which are behind the cabin and can store 35 kilos of hydrogen. The two fuel cell modules, each with an output of 95 kW, draw their fuel from this in order to supply the electric drive. The trucks should achieve a range of around 400 kilometers. The hydrogen is produced by means of electrolysis, the electricity is supplied by a river hydropower plant, and the technology is provided by two system partners (H2 Energy and Linde). The hydrogen is produced, stored and delivered to the filling points in standard-sized overseas containers. According to Alpiq, 300 tons of hydrogen should be produced annually with this one project.

HDC6-Neptune is the name of a Hyundai concept vehicle on the subject of future transport. In concrete terms, a pilot project is currently being set up in Switzerland

Hyundai is not only concerned with hydrogen for commercial vehicles, where a purely battery-electric drive is being used Cost and weight reasons in the near future does not seem particularly promising. In the passenger car sector for use on longer journeys, this technology is to be used, especially in the premium segment, the Hyundai Nexo serves as an example. A model that in auto motor und sport test made a good impressionleft, but is still quite expensive. Whereby one can assume that Hyundai like Toyota does not earn any money with the Mirai on the Nexo, but rather puts some on it. After all: From January to October, Hyundai was able to register over 100 Nexos in Germany, thanks to a recently decided generous hydrogen funding from the federal government could soon be significantly more. Interesting side aspect: Audi is now working with Hyundai on a research project, so the Ingolstadt-based company also intends to advance the role of fuel cells in the group and use Hyundai's experience in this area. An accolade for the Koreans.

Battery-electric drive also in focus

Hyundai sees fuel cells not only in mobility. In principle, this technology is also suitable for stationary use, with the advantage that the tank problem is more manageable. While the storage tanks in cars are pressurized with up to 700 bar in view of the limited space, a stationary fuel cell can be fed with hydrogen gas from large-volume tanks at low pressure or theoretically even directly from a remote supply line. This would enable the complete heating and electricity supply of buildings as well as the use in emergency power generators, which are currently still available as diesel variants in critical structures (such as hospitals).

The basic problem with hydrogen, however, remains that electrolysis production is very energy-intensive. From an ecological point of view, therefore, only production from renewable energies makes sense, as does the production of hydrogen in the case of excess production from wind power, especially in Germany.

Refuel as usual: hydrogen filler neck of the Hyundai Nexo

In addition to the fuel cell as an energy storage device, Hyundai is therefore relying on multi-sound drives for the global market. The classic gasoline and diesel burners are gradually being electrified, whereby the savings potential of mild hybrids with starter generatorsand 48-volt system remains relatively manageable. The advantage, however, is that this technology does not require a special charging or supply infrastructure or expensive traction batteries and is therefore also suitable for use in emerging countries.

In the area of ​​purely battery-electric models, the train at Hyundai has only just started . With Kona and Ioniq, there are currently two electric models in the Hyundai range. In addition, and this is relatively unique on the market, Hyundai also offers the Ioniq as HEV and PHEV hybrid, the Kona in addition to the electric model as a hybrid and as a normal combustion engine. No other manufacturer on the German market currently offers three E alternatives in a series like the Ioniq (and exclusively).

With a further step, Hyundai has therefore also addressed the issue of BEV vehicles in Europe Agenda set: By joining the Ionity charging network, which was originally founded in Germany by the companies BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen, the Koreans will in future be involved in the expansion of the fast charging infrastructure. The Ionity network currently comprises more than 150 locations; by the end of 2020, 400 locations, each with several fast chargers, should be operational in Europe and, ideally, allow electric vehicles to be refueled in a few minutes with up to 350 kW charging power. The Stromer, which will be presented at the IAA as the Hyundai Concept 45 EV and which is due to come onto the market next year, will also benefit from such a high charging capacity. It will be followed by 16 more battery-electric Hyundai models in all classes over the next five years.

The investment volume: 35 billion euros.


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