Korean based car and truck maker Hyundai has announced it is entering an agreement with US commercial vehicle engine specialist Cummins to evaluate opportunities to collaboratively develop and commercialise electric and fuel-cell powertrains.

The two companies announced the agreement in a joint statement that is expected to see them work together on alternative zero emission power trains

Cummins spokesman, Jon Mills, said the partnership agreeement with Hyundai will build on its strategy to provide ‘a range of next-generation clean technologies from natural gas to electric to fuel cells’.

“We believe there will need to be a range of power solutions,” Jon Mills said.

The new powertrains are expected to be developed by combining Hyundai’s fuel-cell systems with Cummins’ electric powertrain, battery and control technologies.

Initially the development will focus on the North American commercial market with a range of powertrains up to and including heavy duty Class 8 prime movers.

Hyundai and Cummins say they will also cooperate with US makers to integrate the systems into their trucks.

Hyundai believes the partnership will help to increase its presence in the US commercial market while Cummins plans to further develop its electric powertrain portfolio by employing Hyundai’s advanced fuel-cell technologies.

“Collaborations such as this will enable us to further diversify our business, as well as reinforce our global hydrogen leadership through sales of new and existing Hyundai fuel-cell systems,” said Saehoon Kim, Hyundai’s Group Head of Fuel Cell development.

Both Cummins and Hyundai have intimated that  they may also move beyond commercial vehicles and evaluate the feasibility of power generators based on fuel cells which could be used as  dependable power backup for preventing data loss etc.