Hyundai was the first automaker to begin a commercial rollout of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the Tucson Fuel Cell. Looks like its hydrogen-dreams aren’t going away anytime soon. For all we know, Hyundai is betting big on fuel cell technology. The next fuel cell vehicle is near-production ready and will be revealed in January at the CES 2018.
The 2018 Hyundai fuel cell SUV draws heavily on the FE Fuel Cell concept first seen at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Although, the lighting and side-view mirrors are far more realistic. The door handles rest alongside the bodywork to reduce any kind of an aerodynamic drag. The overall design makes it look like anything but an ordinary vehicle.
The upcoming Hyundai fuel cell vehicle will have 20 percent more power than the ix Fuel Cell car, at 120 kW. There’s also good news for those living in extreme climates. The vehicle will start in temperatures below –30° C – all thanks to the new fuel cell technology. Tidbit: Recently, two FE prototypes had undergone testing in Australia’s Snow Mountains.) For what it’s worth, the new fuel cell technology will also help the automaker drastically reduce production costs.
Hydrogen will be stored in three tanks with plastic liners which will help squeeze more fuel. The design of the tanks is one major factor contributing to the promised 580-km range. Moreover, the fuel cell will operate at 60 percent efficiency, which is a huge improvement over the existing Tucson vehicle.
Hyundai also announced that it will launch a new line of battery-electric cars during the next year. This includes an electric version of the Kona SUV, the Genesis luxury model which will be all-electric, and a third model with a range of 500 km.
The Seoul-based automaker is also planning to launch a dedicated platform for electric vehicles. This will make things less complicated as the automaker can easily work on futuristic concepts and develop models with better battery technology.
The pricing of the Hyundai fuel cell SUV is yet to be announced. It will launch next year in South Korea, shortly followed by North America and Europe. The company might even look into breaking into emerging markets such as India and China.
Despite bold ambitions, the realities look nothing less than grave. For starters, we lack proper fueling infrastructure for hydrogen vehicles? One cannot deny that Hyundai has a lot of catching up to do!