Rolls-Royce and Hyundai collaborate to develop hydrogen-powered flying taxis

Rolls-Royce and Hyundai are seeking to make a mark in the emerging market for electric-powered air transport solutions by investing in hydrogen fuel-cell technology.

While Li-ion technology has been able to make a strong case for electrically powered cars, opinion is divided in the aircraft sphere, with conventional batteries too heavy and too low in energy density for practical applications.

The collaboration announced at the UK’s Farnborough Airshow aims to combine Rolls-Royce’s aviation experience and Hyundai’s expertise in fuel cell technology.

Hyundai has already allocated $1.4 billion for flying taxis in South Korea, with funds to be used by 2025. Toyota and General Motors are also developing relevant technologies to secure a stronger presence under the new market segment. Honda is going even further with plans to build a hybrid eVTOL aircraft, expanding on a concept already demonstrated last year.

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As for Rolls-Royce-Hyundai plans, the collaboration supports “shared ambitions to open up the Advanced Air Mobility market,” Rob Watson, president of Rolls-Royce Electrical, said in a statement.

The automaker also unveiled a concept five-passenger eVTOL cabin designed for urban use.

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