Hyundai kicked off its time at the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show with a rather broad outline of both its hydrogen development activities and plans for software implementation in its vehicles. They range from fairly vague information to more specific, and everything from vehicle-specific to energy generation.
Hyundai went most in-depth with its hydrogen work, and it certainly seems dedicated to making the fuel a major part of the renewable energy mix. It will be lumping basically every aspect of its hydrogen work including “production, storage, transportation, and utilization” under its HTWO brand (get it?). And among those categories, Hyundai will be working hard on the first few parts of that. It’s working on getting more companies involved with off-take deals (agreements to purchase hydrogen) to build up the demand-side of the market. Hyundai itself is aiming for using hydrogen in both powering steel production facilities and general electricity production.
It’s also developing PEM electrolyzers (Hyundai refers to it as “polymer-electrolyte membrane,” though it’s also referred to as “proton-exchange membrane”) for hydrogen production at “megawatt-scale.” These types of electrolyzers, as opposed to more common alkaline electrolyzers, have advantages in being more compact with longer-lasting electrolytes, rapid start-up and highly pure hydrogen production.
Furthermore on the production side, Hyundai’s HTWO is working on other methods for producing hydrogen from various waste. Some of that includes using biogas from organic wastes such as manure and food, and some of it comes from waste plastics by melting down and gasifying plastics to extract various elements from, leaving hydrogen gas.
Then on the utilization front, Hyundai will continue its implementation of commercial trucks and related infrastructure. It has already been operating XCIENT fuel cell trucks to the Port of Oakland, and later, it will also use similar trucks
Far more vague were Hyundai’s comments about its software plans. It referred to its desire to have software-defined everything, or “SDx.” Of course a big aspect of this is with “SDV” or software-defined vehicles. And what this means is Hyundai will be working on creating its own app market, making development kits available for people and companies to develop apps for Hyundai vehicles. Why should Apple and Google have all the app (and data and monetization) fun to themselves?
Hyundai also plans to further implement large-language model AI in its voice assistant and navigation technology. Plus, it plans to offer more information tools for fleet operators. Some of this development will play into Hyundai’s goals of providing autonomous vehicles and different ways to access vehicles.