Hyundai working on clean-sheet, hydrogen-powered CUV
The bodystyle isn't confirmed, but making it a crossover would take advantage of two important factors, one being the ongoing sales boom of compact and mid-sized SUVs. The second is that according to Sae-Hoon Kim, head of the company's fuel cell research, "all customer feedback says range and boot space are the priorities." Since bigger tanks typically mean less trunk space, a crossover would offer the best opportunity for maximizing both. A people-hauler could also make design and brand connections with the Kia Niro hybrid crossover.
Hyundai is hoping to get a range of 500 miles out of the new vehicle, which would mark a 25-percent improvement over the range of the Tucson FCEV currently on sale. When it arrives it will give Hyundai a dedicated player in three alternative powertrain domains, joining the Ioniq plug-in hybrid and the pure electric vehicle it promised for launch by 2017. That could be seen as merely hedging bets, but the company does believe in hydrogen, Kim saying, "Every solution leads to hydrogen; either you use renewable energy sources to create and store hydrogen, or you use traditional fuels like coal to create hydrogen. Either way, hydrogen is the way to store energy and control supply and demand."
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