Hyundai Motor and Kia Corporation have signed a preliminary agreement with Canada’s Next Hydrogen Corporation to co-develop more cost-effective, clean hydrogen energy systems.

Next Hydrogen Solutions, a group subsidiary, specializes in water electrolysis technology.

Kia said, under the agreement, the companies would jointly develop alkaline water electrolysis systems, including stack and related technology, for the purpose of economically generating green hydrogen and exploring new business opportunities and applications.

The automaker said in a statement: “Today it is expensive and time consuming to produce clean hydrogen. Due to this reason, Kia, Hyundai and Next Hydrogen are looking to improve the price competitiveness of clean hydrogen in consideration of regional climate and environmental characteristics.”

The companies will start by examining the strengths and weaknesses of water electrolysis technology and explore applications for alkaline water electrolysis systems.

Kia added: “Among the various methods of water electrolysis, the alkaline system is regarded as technologically one of the most rigorously tested and proven means with a long track record of research and development. It also has the advantage of being able to produce large-scale hydrogen by using relatively inexpensive catalysts, keeping production costs low.”

The partners aim to develop more efficient stack systems and related technology that are at the core of the alkaline water electrolysis system to reduce the cost of manufacturing and operating/maintaining the system.