Rolls-Royce and Hyundai Motor Group announced their intention to work on bringing electric propulsion and hydrogen fuel cell technology to the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Market. The alliance will capitalize on Rolls-aviation Royce’s and certification expertise, as well as Hyundai Motor Group’s hydrogen fuel cell technology and industrialisation expertise. Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and Regional Air Mobility (RAM) markets, as well as developing sustainable aviation, are goals shared by both firms.
Five strategic objectives are outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Rolls-Royce and Hyundai Motor Group:
- Collaboration on the development and needs of power and propulsion systems for the Advanced Air Mobility Division of Hyundai.
- Collaboration on the industrialization of Rolls-Royce power and propulsion systems for the market of Advanced Air Mobility.
- As an energy source, Hyundai will develop electric propulsion systems based on hydrogen fuel cells for its RAM platforms.
- Cooperatively developing a fuel-cell electric propulsion system for the AAM market as a whole.
- Providing a demonstration of a fuel-cell electric aircraft by 2025
Warren East, CEO of Rolls-Royce, Grazia Vittadini, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, and Rob Watson, President of Rolls-Royce Electrical, as well as Euisun Chung, Executive Chair of Hyundai Motor Group, Jaiwon Shin, President and Head of AAM Division of Hyundai Motor Group, and Jaeyong Song, Vice President of AAM Division of Hyundai Motor Group, attended the signing ceremony at Supernal’s booth at the Farnborough Airshow.
President of Hyundai Motor Group’s Advanced Air Mobility Division Jaiwon Shin stated, “We are pleased to partner with Rolls-Royce to draw upon their aviation and certification expertise to accelerate the development of hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion systems. Hyundai has successfully delivered hydrogen fuel cell systems to the global automotive market and is now exploring the feasibility of electric and hydrogen propulsion technologies for aerospace integration. We believe this to be the key technology to support the global aviation industry’s goal to fly net zero carbon by 2050.”
Rob Watson, president of Rolls-Royce Electrical, stated, : “We are delighted to partner with Hyundai Motor Group which provides a valuable opportunity to leverage and build on the capabilities each company brings from the aerospace and automotive sectors. The Advanced Air Mobility Market offers great commercial potential, and this collaboration supports our joint ambitions to lead the way in the Advanced Air Mobility Market. It is also another demonstration of Rolls-Royce’s role in delivering the solutions that will enable passengers to travel sustainably and help deliver net zero carbon by 2050.”
The advantages of using a hydrogen fuel cell system in an all-electric aircraft propulsion system are that it is a zero-emission, silent, and reliable on-board power source that permits scaling in power offerings and long range flight. Hyundai and Rolls-Royce will collaborate to introduce hydrogen fuel cells, storage systems, and infrastructure to the aerospace markets, as well as integrate this technology into Hyundai’s RAM Vehicles and Rolls-electric Royce’s and hybrid-electric propulsion system solutions.
Rolls-Royce declared a pathway to net zero carbon emissions last year, and the company’s electrical technology is one way it is helping to decarbonize vital sectors of the global economy. Rolls-Royce is committed to ensuring that its new products are compatible with net zero carbon operation by 2030, and that all of its products are compatible by 2050.
Hyundai Motor Group unveiled its AAM business roadmap earlier this year, which spans the UAM and RAM divisions in order to provide eco-friendly air transportation options for individuals within and between cities. Supernal, a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group based in the United States, expects to provide commercial UAM services in the United States in 2028, while Hyundai Motor Group plans to launch RAM services in the 2030s.