Hyundai Motor Group, Aramco & KAUST Collaborate On New E-Fuel

EV Ultimo Team


Hyundai Motor Group, Aramco & KAUST Collaborate On New E-Fuel

Hyundai Motor Group announced that it has arranged with the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), to jointly research and develop an advanced fuel for an ultra-lean-burn gasoline spark-ignition engine that aims to lower the overall carbon dioxide emissions of a vehicle. Unlike conventional fuel manufacturing, e-fuels are synthesized from green hydrogen produced by water electrolysis utilizing renewable electricity and carbon dioxide, resulting in 80% lower lifecycle emissions. The ultra-lean burn engine is the ambitious clean technology that improves thermal efficiency and fuel economy compared to conventional engines leading to further reduction of greenhouse gases.

Hyundai Motor Group is conducting various R&D activities to minimize greenhouse gas emissions from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles during its transition to battery electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). “BEVs and FCEVs will be Hyundai Motor Group’s ultimate technologies to achieve carbon neutral mobility, while eco-friendly ICE technology that combines eco-friendly fuel and ultra-lean burn engine will be the key to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions during our transition to EVs,” said Alain Raposo, Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor Group, leading the Electrified Propulsion Technical Unit.

Over the next two years, Hyundai Motor Group, Aramco, and KAUST will collaborate to research and potentially develop an advanced e-fuel formulation for use in combination with an unknown combustion system. The joint study aims to verify by how much greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced when e-fuel is used in hybrid electric vehicles instead of conventional fuel. In addition, the joint R&D aims to numerically confirm the effect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through simulation and engine testing. Hyundai Motor Group expects to achieve carbon neutrality in an effective way by significantly reducing carbon emissions generated by conventional petroleum fuels through the new engine technology.

“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.

The tests will be conducted by researchers in the Clean Combustion Research Center (CCRC) at KAUST. Professor Donal Bradley, Vice President for Research at KAUST said, “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.”

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation have each announced Carbon Neutrality 2045 roadmaps, committing to become carbon neutral in their global products and operations by 2045. The companies will continue to make several investments in cleaner transportation and greener energy solutions to achieve a better and more sustainable future.