"The FE Fuel Cell Concept uses the fourth-generation fuel-cell system that is created to provide the same power and performance of a gasoline engine, with a cruising range of over 800 kilometers", the carmaker said in a press release. Hyundai says that the FE Fuel Cell Concept is a glimpse at the upcoming SUV Fuel Cell model launching in 2018.
True to its words, Hyundai gave a sneak peek into the Future Eco (FE) Fuel Cell Concept at the Geneva Motor Show.
"From a auto manufacturer point of view we see hydrogen fuel cell as the ultimate goal - the range, the practicality, the refuelling time - we're all used to going to a petrol station, filling up in three minutes then driving away and doing 600km".
"Hyundai Motor has a heritage of building innovative, fuel-efficient vehicles that advance the automotive industry's environmental progress", Hyundai's vice chairman, Woong Chul Yang said. Compared to the Tucson ix35 Fuel Cell, the new fuel cell system is 20 percent lighter, 10 percent more efficient and has a 30 percent higher power density for the fuel stack. This follows two decades at the forefront of hydrogen vehicle development, most recently with the ix35 Fuel Cell (Tucson Fuel Cell in some markets), which in 2013 became the world's first mass-produced hydrogen-powered vehicle, and is now on sale in 17 countries around the world.
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The "FE" in the concept vehicle stands for Future Eco, reflecting new technologies supporting eco-friendliness, which the company thinks is well represented by fuel cells.
The FE Concept showcases Hyundai Motor's fourth generation of hydrogen fuel cell technology, an evolution of research, development and real-world evaluation programs around the world.
Innovation is present inside, too, where water recovered from the hydrogen power source is fed into the cabin by an air humidifier to make it a more comfortable place to spend time. There is an integrated charging space in the trunk, portable battery packs for charging other electrical appliances and the lavish blue, futuristic interior is said to be inspired by nature and water, mainly due to the only emissions or byproducts being water from the vehicle. There's great potential considering how popular compact cars are there in Europe and how much room for growth Hyundai has for an alternative fuel infrastructure there.
Hyundai is taking the further steps towards its support of hydrogen fuel cells when it chose to put forward a new hydrogen-powered CUV or SUV to replace the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell.