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Hyundai Plans to Commercialize a Fuel Cell Tucson by 2010

Yonhap. Hyundai Motor plans to commercialize a coming hydrogen fuel cell-powered version of its Tucson SUV by 2010. The company plans to conduct road test of the vehicle in the US in 2009.

Hyundai just delivered two of the current generation of Tucson fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) to AC Transit in Oakland for integration into daily operation. The program with AC Transit will eventually include 10 Hyundai fuel cell vehicles. (Earlier post.)

Hyundai introduced its second-generation Tucson FCEV in January 2005 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Tucson FCEV offers a driving range of 300 km (186 miles)—double that of the first-generation Santa Fe FCEV—thanks to 152-liter (40-gallon) storage tanks (more than double the size of those in the Santa Fe) developed by Dynetek.

Marginally lighter than its predecessor, the Tucson FCEV also gets five more kW of power from its UTC fuel cell stack for a peak output of 80kW. Its maximum speed is rated at 150 km/h (93 mph) compared to the Santa Fe’s 124 km/h (77 mph).

The Tucson FCEV can start in freezing temperatures; testing has proven that the vehicle is capable of starting after being subjected to -20º Celsius temperatures for five days.

Separately, the South Korean Cabinet passed a measure to spur the development and use of more environmentally friendly automotive technology, citing the current global trend toward such vehicles.

“There is a strong consensus that South Korea must follow international trends,” an official at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said. He added that the move is not an option, but a necessity.

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