Hyundai Motor Co. will unveil its second-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) in early 2018, just in time for the Winter Olympics taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The Korean automaker has been selling the mid-size Tucson crossover in hydrogen fuel cell form since 2013, and since 2015 in British Columbia, the only Canadian jurisdiction currently authorized to sell it.
But Ahn Byung-ki, the company’s director of eco-development recently told Automotive News the next-gen vehicle will be all-new and “somewhere between a CUV and SUV.”
To date, Hyundai has produced fewer than 1,000 FCVs worldwide, according to Ahn.
The new vehicle will be smaller and require less platinum in the catalyst, but will have a bigger battery and a smaller, lighter electric motor with higher output, he says.
Synchronizing the launch with the Winter Olympics happening on Hyundai’s home soil will give the vehicle worldwide exposure few events can offer.
“It’s a big event. That’s always a good opportunity for PR,” Ahn says.
The next-gen FCV is being developed entirely within Hyundai, bucking the recent trend of manufacturers joining forces to pool their resources and share development costs associated with new technologies.
Hyundai’s research and development vice-chairman Yang Woong-chul downplayed the benefits of partnering with other manufacturers, saying in a company statement that they often lead to failure because of the difficulty in keeping each side motivated and committed to sharing workloads.
The new FCEV is part of the Hyundai’s large eco-friendly product offensive. By 2020, the company will launch 28 new eco-vehicles across the Hyundai, Genesis and Kia brands. The rollout will include 10 gas hybrids, eight plug-in hybrids, eight electric vehicles and two fuel cell vehicles.
(via Hyundai and Automotive News)