Coming next year: hydrogen-powered SUVs from Hyundai
South Korean car major Hyundai is likely to start selling a Tucson SUV powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, the first mass-market vehicle of its type to be sold or leased, by next year.autos Updated: Nov 20, 2013 11:04 IST
South Korean car major Hyundai is likely to start selling a Tucson SUV powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, the first mass-market vehicle of its type to be sold or leased, by next year.
“These things are now ready for prime time,” John Krafcik, Hyundai’s north American CEO, said last week.
The company is expected to introduce prices and details of how its cars will be sold or leased at the Los Angeles show later on Wednesday. Automakers usually offer leases when they put new technology on the market.
Even as the industry focused on battery-powered and hybrid cars, automakers such as Hyundai, Honda and Toyota kept up research on fuel cells. Now they appear to have conquered obstacles such as high costs, safety concerns and a lack of filling stations. These vehicles could help the companies meet stricter future fuel-economy standards.
Hyundai said that it has overcome safety and storage issues with a rear-mounted tank that has passed numerous crash tests without incident.
Automakers have been dabbling in hydrogen-powered cars since the 1960s. General Motors announced a test fleet of hydrogen-powered Chevy Equinoxes in the mid-2000s, and Honda leased about two-dozen FCX Clarity models for $600 per month starting in 2005.
Also at the Los Angeles show, Honda Motor Co is scheduled to show off a fuel-cell concept vehicle, which the car major said hints at the aerodynamic design of the next generation fuel-cell vehicle to be launched in 2015. Further details weren’t available.