Hyundai Amps Up Fuel Cell Efforts with New SUV Concept

Posted by at 11:44 am on March 31, 2017

Hyundai Motor Co., the first automaker to mass-produce fuel cell vehicles, plans to unveil a new hydrogen-powered SUV next year with longer driving range than rival offerings by Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. as it attempts to reclaim leadership in the field.

The automaker will show off the new model along with a new fuel cell bus early next year during the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, Kim Sae-hoon, who oversees the technology at the Seoul-based automaker and affiliate Kia Motors Corp., said in an interview.

At the Seoul auto show this week, Hyundai will showcase the fuel cell SUV concept with a range of more than 800 kilometers (about 500 miles) on a single refuel. The FE Fuel Cell concept was first presented at this year’s Geneva auto show.

Although Hyundai was initially ahead in the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles, it ceded the race to Toyota in terms of sales because of poorly developed infrastructure at home and a high sticker price overseas.

“We want to lead the changes in terms of technology,” Kim said at Hyundai’s fuel cell r&d center in Mabuk. “When there is industrial restructuring and emergence of new technologies, it gives a new opportunity to us.”

Hyundai sold 242 ix35 fuel cell cars last year, while Toyota delivered 2,050 Mirais in 2016, 1,100 of those in Japan.

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