Hyundai has shed some light on its next hydrogen fuel cell vehicle which is to go beyond its current converted Tucson and be based on a dedicated platform.
In an interview yesterday with Autocar, Kim Sae-hoon, Hyundai and Kia’s head of hydrogen fuel cell research said something proprietary and forward looking was in store.
“We will launch a dedicated vehicle, although it is not clear what vehicle type it will be based around,” Kim said. “Developing a bespoke car offers clear advantages. For instance, the larger the radiators on a fuel cell car the better, and you can see on the Mirai that they have developed a cooling solution that helps with that scenario.”
Although Kim did not specify what type of vehicle the next-generation fuel cell vehicle (FCV) would be based on, speculation is that it could be an SUV style.
Kim went on to point out that feedback received from customers of the 2015 Hyundai Tuscon FCV, which was made available for lease to residents in select California markets last year, indicted that increased range and cargo capacity were most desirable.
“Our issue is that all customer feedback says range and boot space are the priorities, but of course a larger fuel tank impinges on boot space,” Kim said.
The Tuscon FCV boasts an EPA-rated 265 miles of range, and it is expected Hyundai’s next FCV iteration will improve on that figure – reportedly as much as 500 miles is in store.
The only other FCV available in the U.S. is the Toyota Mirai, which offers 312 miles of range.
In addition to discussing details about Hyundai’s next FCV, Kim also made more general comments about his views on the hydrogen landscape and its role in the future.
“[Fuel cell technology will progress] very fast. In the past 60 years performance has improved 200 times,” Kim said. “That rate is increasing. Battery and fuel cell will co-exist, but fuel cell is the best powertrain for larger vehicles.”
Hyundai’s sister brand, Kia Motors, had previously announced it would launch its own dedicated FCV by 2020.