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Hyundai expands tie-ups with Nordic countries

Starting Norwegian firm, automaker to sign MOUs on green cars

Hyundai Motor is expanding its business collaboration with Scandinavian countries to boost the carmaker’s supply of environmentally friendly vehicles.

Following a pact between Hyundai and the governments of the four countries ― Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland ― in January 2011, the automaker signed a memorandum of understanding with a Norwegian firm on green car supply in Seoul on Tuesday.

Under the MOU, Hyundai and Norway-based large-scale battery-recharging operator HYdrogen OPeration, or HYOP, agreed to coordinate the supply of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles across the Nordic country, the automaker said in a statement.

“This is the first time that we signed a pact on green cars with a private enterprise in the four countries,” a Hyundai spokesman said.

He said the company is also seeking to sign such MOUs with firms in three other Scandinavian nations and Germany.

During the MOU signing event in central Seoul, HYOP CEO Ulf Hafseld predicted that the bilateral coordination will pave the way for Norway to become a leading logistics base in the eco-friendly vehicle sector.

He stressed that Norway holds the world’s top level infrastructure in the hydrogen fuel cell-recharging field.

In May 2011, Hyundai test-drove its fuel cell vehicles in cities such as Stockholm and Oslo.

In Denmark, the Tucson ix crossed from east to west ― about 340 kilometers ― on one charge in cooperation with local hydrogen station operator H2 Logic. Prior to the test drive, Hyundai signed a partnership with H2 Logic and FCV distributor Hydrogen Link.

In February 2011, Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors signed a deal with German organizations to take part in the European nation’s government-led Clean Energy Partnership.

Under the agreement, the two Korean carmakers are mapping out details to supply hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to the German government’s hydrogen automobile project.

It is an epoch-making point that Hyundai and Kia obtained the opportunity to introduce its technology for hydrogen and fuel cell batteries in Germany, “the center of European cars,” according to market observers.

Last March, Hyundai and Kia were named the most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly carmakers by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, outperforming rivals such as Toyota Motor.

In the EPA’s annual report “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Fuel Economy Trends,” Hyundai and Kia cars for the model year 2010 showed the highest average fuel economy of 27 miles per gallon, or 11.5 kilometers per liter.

The two Korean automakers were tied for first place, followed by Toyota in third with 25.4 mpg. Honda Motor Co. came next with 24.9 mpg.

Hyundai also marked the lowest carbon dioxide emissions at 329 grams per mile (206 grams per kilometer), followed by Kia at 330 g/m. They beat Toyota (350 g/m) and Honda (347 g/m).

Hyundai and Kia also topped the forecast of 2011 model-year fuel economy ratings, with 27.5 miles per gallon and 27.2 mpg, respectively, according to the report.

By Kim Yon-se (
Korea Herald Youtube