October 31, 2018 By Paolo de Borja

Hyundai Motor, Chinese R&D institute to establish ‘Hydrogen Energy Fund’

Fund aims to foster growth of startups with innovative hydrogen technologies

Hyundai Motor has reached an agreement with Beijing-Tsinghua Industrial R&D Institute (BTIRDI) to establish a ‘Hydrogen Energy Fund.’ The South Korean automaker and its counterpart from China aim to heighten their influence in the hydrogen ecosystem, while also pushing for the development of a ‘Hydrogen Society.’

With a goal to raise more than USD 100 million, the Hydrogen Energy Fund will be operated by both Hyundai Motor and Yield Capital, BTIRDI’s investment firm. Its goal is to draw investments from prominent venture capital firms in China, Europe and the U.S.

“We are thrilled to announce the establishment of the Hydrogen Energy Fund with Beijing-Tsinghua Industrial R&D Institute,” Hsiu Fu Wang, Executive Vice President at Hyundai Motor Group (China) Ltd. said. “The collaboration is an important first step in advancing the global hydrogen ecosystem and our strong foundation of trust will present many growth opportunities for the partnership.”

The primary objective of the binational initiative is to attract investments in the hydrogen industry and value chain, while also promoting the growth of up-and-coming startups in China and Korea.

It will particularly search for innovative companies that possess a collection hydrogen-related infrastructures and leadership in core hydrogen technologies. To make the best investment that would benefit the industry and ecosystem, the partnership will conduct detailed analyses on the investment candidates’ future growth potential.

In addition to its contributions to equity investments, the Hydrogen Energy Industry Fund will involve active and systematic support based on each members’ programs and Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) strategies.

The establishment of the fund will benefit Hyundai Motor as it is expected to introduce new hydrogen-related business opportunities in China. Taking into consideration that Hydrogen is emerging as a key pillar for future growth in the country, the company believes that the Sino-Korean partnership will serve as a strong foundation for Hyundai Motor to enter the Chinese Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) market in the future.

“Hyundai Motor possesses industry leading FCEV technologies which we will leverage in gaining foothold in China’s hydrogen ecosystem,” said Zongkai Shi, Deputy Director of School Council of Tsinghua University. “Through the Hydrogen Energy Fund, we will develop a platform that significantly contributes to the creation of a Hydrogen Society.”

The Chinese government is targeting a large-scale deployment of one million FCEVs and one thousand refill stations by 2030.

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