Kia's first hybrid vehicle recently went on sale in the automaker's home market of Korea and, according to Simon Hetherington, Kia's UK marketing director, the company plans to launch a range of hybrid vehicles in the United Kingdom within three years. Interestingly, though, Kia doesn't necessarily see hybrids as the way of the future. Speaking to Channel 4, Hetherington said:
Kia is committed to bringing a range of new technologies to UK consumers as soon as is viable. It will not be too long before we have hybrid vehicles but we see this as a step on the way to a fuel-cell powered future. This is the real answer to the problem of automotive pollution – even fully electric cars just push the pollution problem further up the chain to the generators. Hydrogen offers a real long-term solution to the challenge of individual mobility coupled with environmental sustainability.Having driven the Kia Borrego FCEV ourselves, we know that the Korean automaker has come a long way toward realizing the goal of a practical hydrogen-powered vehicle. Of course, there remains a number of wide-ranging hurdles to overcome before hydrogen vehicles are ready for the market, not the least of which are finding efficient ways of capturing the energy carrier, storing it for future use and developing an infrastructure capable of supporting tens of thousands of vehicles. No problem, right?