11 March 2004

Another hydrogen-powered Hyundai debuted last week, and with it came evidence that the Korean manufacturer grows ever more committed to the development of the environmentally-conscious alternative technology.

The Tucson is Hyundai’s new compact SUV, which sits below the Santa Fe in the company’s off-road range. Its fuel cell powered version, the FCEV, is the first to be developed at the same time as both petrol and diesel models, so it receives all the development data first hand, at the same time as the mainstream models. This demonstrates how far up the agenda the fuel cell has moved since the company’s special task force was established four years ago. Since then, suppliers of the bespoke technology have been signed up, and a Santa Fe FCEV (right) produced that went on to win success at the Michelin Challenge Bibendum.

The Tucson FCEV is powered by a 80kW motor, is capable of a 93mph top speed and a touring range of 186 miles. It will begin commercial trials in small business fleets in the US later this year.

President of Hyundai Research and Development Kim Sang-Kwon commented ‘in this phase of our programme, we will be able to build fuel cell electric vehicles in higher volumes for fleet testing. It brings us closer to their eventual commercialisation.’

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