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Hyundai Delivers Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicles to AC Transit for Demonstration and Testing

The Tucson FCEV

Hyundai Motor Company has delivered the first two of an eventual ten Hyundai and Kia Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) to the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) in California.

The delivery of two Tucson FCEVs marks the beginning of a five-year demonstration and validation project designed to evaluate fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen infrastructure technologies. AC Transit staff will use the fuel cell vehicles to support bus operations in densely populated urban areas.

Hyundai’s partnership with AC Transit represents the first time that a third-party has been involved in our fuel cell vehicle research, and it marks another milestone in our effort to bring this technology to commercialization. Our vehicles will be operating in real-world working environments everyday proving the viability of this technology.

—Dr. Won Suk Cho, president, Hyundai America Technical Center

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).

Hyundai and LG Chem co-developed the Tucson’s 152V lithium-ion battery. (Hyundai has announced a broader effort with LG Chem on hybrids—earlier post.) Enova Systems provides the hybrid drivetrain, motor and control unit.

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.

Hyundai plans to place two additional Tucson FCEV with AC Transit in early 2006, and will round out the fleet with six Kia Sportage FCEV models in late 2006 and 2007. In addition, Hyundai engineers will support and monitor the AC Transit fleet vehicles for the duration of the program.

In April 2004, Hyundai, Chevron Corporation and UTC Power were awarded a US Department of Energy grant to support research into hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology for automotive applications. The team officially began testing in February 2005 when Chevron opened its first-ever hydrogen energy station at the Hyundai America Technical Center (HATCI) in Chino, Calif.

In addition to HATCI and AC Transit, fleets will also be placed at Southern California Edison and the US Army facilities in Detroit to develop and implement a practical, business-based hydrogen energy infrastructure and associated technologies as a part of the five-year program.


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