Hyundai-Kia has been hard at work on its fuel cell technology. A couple weeks ago, the company announced that significant progress has been made and the target date for release of its fuel cell vehicles to the general public is now set for 2012. The company plans to have at least 10,000 fuel cell vehicle in consumers' hands by 2015. Of course, nobody can forget the announcement from Toyota last month stating that its $50,000, production-ready hydrogen sedan would debut in 2015.
Well, apparently Hyundai-Kia wasn't too thrilled by Toyota's announcement and doesn't think much of the price either, and so the Korean automakers countered with some fuel claims of its own. As Byung Ki Ahn, general manager of Hyundai-Kia's fuel cell group, told Autocar:
Let the price wars – and the race to become the world's largest producer of fuel cell vehicles – begin. This battle could stir up a lot of noise in the fuel cell industry and, eventually, lead to a comparably priced competitor to the battery-electric vehicle.Our fuel cell stack can run at ambient atmospheric pressure, so we don't need an air compressor and it contains less platinum, making it cheaper. Since 2004 we've eliminated 90 per cent of its typical material cost. Toyota has a target to produce 50,000 fuel cell cars a year and expects to be able to price them at $50,000. We're confident we can beat it.