Hyundai Reveals Next Hydrogen Fuel-Cell SUV, New EV Platform ""

By | August 17, 2017

Hyundai FCEV concept

Hyundai is not finished with hydrogen. The automaker has just shown a preview of an all-new fuel-cell-powered SUV that can swallow the bulky high-pressure tanks alongside battery-electric and gasoline-electric hybrid powertrains. The next fuel-cell-powered Hyundai—its name to be revealed in January at the CES technology show—will replace the few dozen Tucson fuel-cell vehicles currently whispering around Southern California.

Those existing cars, based on the previous-generation Tucson, travel up to an estimated 265 miles on two tanks. The new version uses three identically sized tanks for a European-cycle estimate so ridiculous we won’t even cite it, while also increasing horsepower to 161 (up 27 hp), boosting the fuel cell’s efficiency to 60 percent (versus 55) and incorporating longer-lasting catalysts and hardier components that allow cold starts (an inherent weakness of fuel cells) down to minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit. Hyundai will sell the new SUV in South Korea in time for the Winter Olympics in Seoul in February 2018. We—or rather, Angelenos—will see it sometime later.

Hyundai FCEV concept

Hyundai hasn’t confirmed the mechanical basis of the new fuel-cell SUV, although it’s developing a “dedicated architecture for pure electric vehicles” that will include an EV with an estimated 311-mile range that is due out after 2021. The fuel-cell vehicle is likely to use a dedicated chassis that, like the Ioniq hatchback, will spawn a range of alternative powertrains to lower production costs.

Behind the grinning Cheshire Cat grille—which may appear on the next Santa Fe—the fuel-cell SUV’s two-piece wheels, flush door handles, and air ducts cutting through the D-pillar up Hyundai’s aero game. Rectilinear structures dominate the interior, with two hooded, enormous screens side by side (like those in the Mercedes-Benz E-class) above an angled, silver-painted center stack adorned with traditional knobs and buttons. Hyundai promises to reveal its suite of updated driver assists at CES.

Beyond this one vehicle is Hyundai’s vision for a Hydrogen Energy Society, which sounds like utopia—at least for the 0.01 percent of us who live within driving distance of a public hydrogen station. More relevant to society at large is the Genesis EV expected in 2021, and sooner, the Kona EV in late 2018.

Hyundai-FCEV-concept-REEL

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