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Rolls-Royce and Hyundai have announced a new partnership that will focus on bringing all-electric propulsion and hydrogen fuel cell technologies to the aircraft market. The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two sides includes five strategic points but we’ll get to that in a second. First, we need to clarify something.

You are probably surprised to learn Rolls-Royce is in the aircraft business, but it is important to note that the automaker with the same name and the aircraft division are two different subsidiaries. Rolls-Royce Holdings is a multinational aerospace and defense company that currently is the world's second-largest maker of aircraft engines and has major businesses in the marine propulsion and energy sectors.

Back to the new cooperation with Hyundai, Rolls-Royce sees the South Korean automaker as an expert in hydrogen technologies with major industrialization capability. Hyundai is expected to help its British colleagues with the launch of new power and propulsion systems, while the collaboration will develop new power systems for Hyundai’s Advanced Air Mobility Division. The culmination of the joint work should come in 2025 when a fuel-cell electric aircraft will be demonstrated. 

“We are delighted to partner with Hyundai Motor Group which provides a valuable opportunity to leverage and build on the capabilities each company brings from the aerospace and automotive sectors,” Rob Watson from Rolls-Royce comments. “The Advanced Air Mobility Market offers great commercial potential, and this collaboration supports our joint ambitions to lead the way in the Advanced Air Mobility Market.”

Rolls-Royce, the automaker, is about to launch its first fully-electric model late next year. Meanwhile, its aircraft division is working on the fastest electric airplane, which should be able to hit 300 miles per hour (480 kilometers per hour). The British company also announced a pathway to net zero carbon emissions with all products of the firm to be compatible with net zero barcon by the middle of the decade.

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