Hyundai's fuel-cell vehicle development keeps chugging along as the automaker has just unveiled its latest hydrogen-fueled prototype, the Hyundai Tucson ix FCEV (fuel-cell electric vehicle). The Tucson ix FCEV made its U.S. debut at the 2011 Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy conference in Washington, DC and will be on display until February 16.
Destined to hit the streets of Korea for testing later this year and expected to enter limited production in 2012, the Tucscon ix crossover is equipped with a 100-kilowatt fuel cell system and a pair of hydrogen storage tanks. The fuel cell directs power to a 21 kW battery, which sends juice to an electric motor, enabling the Hyundai Tucson ix FCEV to hit a top speed of 100 miles per hour and travel up to 403 miles between fill ups.
Hyundai's Tucson ix FCEV features a fuel cell setup that's 20 percent smaller and a total operating range that's 76 percent greater than the automaker's previous Tucson FCEV prototype. Hyundai aims to launch a mass-produced fuel cell vehicle by 2015 and is "confident" that it can beat Toyota's targeted price of $50,000 for its hydrogen sedan. Check out the complete press release after the break. Hat tip to Roy!
Next-Generation Fuel Cell Vehicle to Deliver Higher Fuel Efficiency and Driving Range
Hyundai Motor America continues its commitment to fuel economy leadership and alternative fuel technology with the introduction of the next-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the Tucson ix Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV). The Tucson ix FCEV makes its U.S. public debut at Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy 2011 in Washington, DC and will be on display Feb. 14-16.
"We are excited to share the latest in Hyundai's fuel cell technology," said Dr. Tae Won Lim, Managing Director of Hyundai Motor Company's Fuel Cell Vehicle Group. "After several years of testing, we have identified ways to maximize fuel efficiency without compromising driving experience and powertrain range. We hope to continue this momentum in finding ways to better fuel cell technology and performance."
Hyundai's third-generation FCEV is equipped with its newest 100-kilowatt fuel cell system and two hydrogen storage cylinders (700bar) to deliver a substantial improvement in fuel efficiency. The Tucson ix FCEV can travel more than 400 miles on a single fueling, a 76-percent improvement over its predecessor, and a range equal to a gasoline-powered car. It achieves gasoline equivalent fuel efficiency of more than 70 miles per gallon, a 15-percent improvement over the previous version. It can also start in temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius.
In addition to improving the fuel economy and range of the powertrain, Hyundai has also created a more compact power source for the Tucson ix FCEV. Overall volume of the fuel cell system was downsized by 20-percent compared to the previous system via modularization of bulky parts in the fuel cell system including fuel cell stack, balance of plant (BOP), inverter and high voltage junction box.
Hyundai will test about 50 new Tucson ix FCEVs throughout 2011 as part of the second phase of the Korean Government Validation Program. Hyundai plans to make a limited supply of the Tucson ix FCEV in 2012 and begin mass production in 2015.
The Tucson ix FCEV shows that Hyundai is taking a multi-faceted approach to improving fuel economy, developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles along with its patented Blue Drive technology," said John Juriga, Powertrain Director at Hyundai Kia America Technical Center, Inc. "Hyundai is committed to developing a diverse portfolio of fuel efficient options for our customers, as seen with our Sonata Hybrid, turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine and the all-new 1.8-liter Nu engine delivering 40 mpg highway for the Elantra. The introduction of the new FCEV is just another example of all the things we're doing to increase the ecological friendliness and the fuel economy of our products."