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Hyundai reveals latest hydrogen powertrain, aspires to power cars, boats and trains

Hydrogen fuel cells won't only be for automobiles if the company's plans shake out.

I'm 100% here for commercial vehicles that look like this.

Hyundai

If Hyundai has its way, you're going to see an "HTwo" badge on numerous kinds of vehicles in the future. What's HTwo? It's the Korean automaker's latest-generation hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, revealed on Thursday in a massive strategy update from the company. The name is a nod to hydrogen's molecular formula, H2.

The announcement came bundled with a whole lot of other news from the Korean automaker -- including its plans for flying taxis and the acquisition of the maker of a creepy robot dog -- so details aren't plentiful at the moment. But HTwo will be the hydrogen powertrain Hyundai focuses on for next-gen fuel-cell vehicles, such as the next step from the Nexo SUV. Hyundai has far grander plans for HTwo, however. It wants future large-scale vessels and even trains to run on HTwo. If we really want to tackle climate change, it's going to take a lot more than shifting from fossil-fuel-powered personal vehicles. Society needs to look at global shipping and trade, too.

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That's what HTwo aims to accomplish as Hyundai develops the powertrain architecture for numerous types of transportation. Enhanced energy density and affordability are at the forefront of its development. As progress chugs along, Hyundai said it plans to strengthen ties with current partners in the US, Europe, China and Korea to help find places where HTwo makes sense.

And while it works on an affordable hydrogen powertrain, the company will look to make urban air mobility take off with flying taxis. Such vehicles may also house an HTwo powertrain, if Hyundai has its way. I just hope if hydrogen-powered trucks and trains come to life, they look at lot like the company's HDC-6 Neptune concept.

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