Korea’s largest automotive group, Hyundai-Kia, will begin low-volume production of at least one fuel cell model within the next two years.
It’s not yet known whether the car will be badged a Hyundai or a Kia, but it will definitely be a hydrogen-powered version of an existing model - not a fuel cell-only one like Honda’s FCX Clarity.
Byung Ki Ahn, general manager of Hyundai-Kia’s Fuel Cell Group, told Autocar, “There are already agreements between car makers such as ourselves and legislators in Europe, North America and Japan to build up to the mass production of fuel cell cars by 2015. Hydrogen production capacity and refuelling infrastructure will be improved.”
Hyundai intends to be at the vanguard of the move to hydrogen. “Pilot-scale production of 1000 fuel cell cars a year will begin for us in two years,” Ahn said. “Our first cars won’t be fully commercialised [they will probably be leased , not bought outright] but they will allow us to make the final stages of development progress before we begin commercial production of around 10,000 hydrogen cars a year in 2015.”