Kia will bring a bespoke hydrogen fuel-cell car to market before the end of 2021.
Speaking to Autocar ahead of the Geneva motor show, the company’s head of marketing in Europe, Artur Martins, confirmed that development of a new fuel cell car was under way.
Although he stopped short of confirming any specifics about the new car, Martins said it would be a 'bigger' model which would be capable of housing conventional combustion engines, as well as hybrid and electric options and, crucially, a fuel cell, too.
The 2021 model will get its own distinctive look to signify its eco credentials. “It is not clear what kind of bodystyle the cars will have, but it will be dedicated models rather than using an existing donor car as we do now with the ix35,” said Kia's head of fuel cell research, Dr Sae-Hoon Kim. He cited the example of the Toyota Mirai as highlighting the benefits of a bespoke fuel cell car, most notably because of the ability to design with extra cooling requirements in mind.
The upcoming Kia's next-generation hydrogen fuel stack will be similar in size to a 2.0-litre combustion engine, but despite being 15% more compact and lighter will deliver around 10% more performance. Range between refuellings is expected to be some 500 miles, and top speed around 105mph.