Hyundai reveals next-gen fuel cell model

Hyundai has unveiled its next-generation hydrogen fuel cell model - promising a range of almost 500 miles on a single tank - along with news of new EVs such as the Kona.

The production fuel cell model will be launched early next year, but the concept displays Hyundai's future design direction, as well as the powertrain technology that will underpin the new model.

Hyundai's current hydrogen fuel cell (FCEV) offering is the ix35 SUV, which wasn't initially designed to fit fuel cell components, unlike its rivals. The Toyota Mirai and forthcoming Honda Clarity Fuel Cell were both designed as FCEVs from the outset, with less compromise for packaging the interior.

Hyundai Next Generation FCEV interior

Hyundai's next-generation FCEV - yet to be named - has seen a focus on four key areas of performance: fuel cell efficiency, maximum output, durability, and tank storage density.

Hyundai's new fuel cell system has an efficiency rating of 60%, up from the ix35's 55.3%. By improving the fuel cell's performance but reducing hydrogen consumption, the new model's efficiency is much improved compared to its predecessor. As such, the new model is targetting an 800km range.

The maximum output from the new model will be 20% more than the ix35 Fuel Cell's, with more than 160hp available. The model's cold start capability has also been improved for temperatures below freezing. The new powertrain has been designed to be started at -30 degrees Celsius.

The fuel cell stack now features a more durable catalyst, and the storage tanks - now three rather than two - have been improved thanks to developments in materials that allow for thinner components.

Hyundai Next Generation FCEV rear

The new model will be Hyundai's flagship in its low emission vehicle drive. Hyundai and Kia wil roll-out 31 eco-friendly models to lobal markets by 2020, with pure-EVs a key part of the plans too.

Hyundai's Kona crossover will be launched in the first half of 2018 with an expected range of 242 miles, while a Genesis - Hyundai's luxury arm - EV model will arrive in 2021. This is due at the same time as a long-range EV, with a projected range of 310 miles (500km).

Hyundai has also announced that it will develop a platform specifically designed for pure electric vehicles, allowing the group to make multiple models with longer driving ranges.

Find out more about fuel cell cars here

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:17th Aug 2017

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