Hyundai joins hands with Aramco and KAUST for e-fuel development 

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Nearly every carmaker all around the world has pledged that it will either be an all-electric company or have loads of electric cars in its portfolio by 2030. Going by this, it looks like the end of our beloved internal combustion engine is near. 

However it’s not all doom and gloom as Hyundai has announced that it will be working with Saudi Arabian Oil Company Aramco and KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) for developing a new e-fuel for an ultra lean-burn, spark-ignition engine. This doesn’t mean that the EV revolution isn't happening or Hyundai won’t shift to EVs.

Hyundai has clearly said that it will be having battery electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) in its portfolio to achieve carbon neutral mobility but the Korean carmaker claims eco-friendly ICE technology that combines eco-friendly fuel and ultra-lean burn engine will also have a part to play while the company moves towards electrification.

The big doubt in your mind would be: how is an e-fuel more eco friendly than petrol or diesel. E-fuels are better for the environment as they are produced by water electrolysis using renewable electricity, green hydrogen and carbon dioxide. As a result, these fuels are said to have 80% lower lifecycle emissions. 

Aramco and KAUST will be working with Hyundai over the next two years and through research and development, the three companies will be cooperating with each other on e-fuel tech.

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Hyundai will be providing the research teams a state-of-the-art, ultra-lean-burn gasoline engine. Aramco looks to utilize advanced fuels to design an effective fuel formulation with KAUST looking after model technologies and testing of the engine which will be done at its Clean Combustion Research Center (CCRC).

“As hybrid electrical vehicles are rolled out, the real challenge now lies in making strides with optimal fuels and exceptional combustion systems. The Aramco team provides fuel design and blending know-how to improve Hyundai Motor Group engine combustion performance and the outcome could lead to the application of synthetic e-fuels. This is a space in which we are pushing boundaries and we are excited to be part of it,” said Ahmad O. Al-Khowaiter, Aramco’s Chief Technology Officer. 

Professor Donal Bradley, Vice President for Research at KAUST, commented: “Building more efficient and less polluting transport systems is a critical contribution to the circular carbon economy approach to tackling climate change. Our Clean Combustion Research Center is ideally placed to support this significant development with its excellent record in the development and optimization of low-carbon fuels. We look forward to working closely with our colleagues in Aramco and Hyundai on this exciting project.”



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hyundai | aramco | oil ksa

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