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Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest automaker, said Tuesday that it reached a pact to provide fuel cell cars to Norway as part of its effort to expand the global market for eco-friendly vehicles.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Hyundai and Norway's Hydrogen Operation (Hyop) calls on the carmaker to support Oslo's pilot project to use hydrogen-fueled vehicles for public agencies, companies and taxis.
Fuel cell systems convert chemical energy from natural fuel sources, such as hydrogen, directly into electricity. Such systems provide an almost limitless clean energy supply and only release water.
In addition, Hyundai and Hyop will work together on how to set up hydrogen refueling station infrastructure that is critical for widespread use of fuel cell cars.
The Norwegian partner is currently Europe's largest hydrogen refueling station operator.
The carmaker, the flagship of Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest automotive conglomerate, said it secured the MOU because its Tuscon ix fuel cell electric vehicles have been successfully tested for over a year in actual driving conditions in northern European countries.
Two Tuscon ix's were driven by Norway's Zero Emission Resource Organization from Oslo to Monte Carlo using only five refueling stops. The distance covered exceeded 2,200 kilometers.
"Because the compact sports utility vehicles were able to move over 500 kilometers after an single refueling stop, it clearly showed the feasibility of such a system in everyday use," the carmaker said in a statement.
It said the MOU signified Hyundai's superior technological knowhow in fuel cell technology and could play a role in expanding the hydrogen vehicle market.
The two sides will hold more talks in the future to work out details on how many cars will be provided for the pilot project and when they will be delivered.