Hyundai Introduces i-Blue Fuel Cell Concept at Chicago Auto Show; New, Purpose-Built Fuel Cell Architecture
|The i-Blue concept chassis. Click to enlarge.|
Hyundai’s new hydrogen fuel cell concept, the i-Blue Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), made its North American debut at the Chicago Auto Show (6-17 February). Developed at Hyundai’s Design and Technical Center in Chiba, Japan, the i-Blue concept illustrates the design direction for a future FCEV production model.
The i-Blue is powered by a 100 kW electric motor and fuel cell stack—Hyundai’s third-generation fuel cell technology, currently being developed at its Eco-Technology Research Institute in Mabuk, Korea. .
|The i-Blue concept.|
Fueled with compressed hydrogen (700 bar) stored in a 115-liter tank, i-Blue is capable of running more than 370 miles per refueling and achieves a maximum speed of more than 100 miles per hour.
Unlike its predecessors which were built on production SUV platforms, the i-Blue features a new, purpose-built 2+2 crossover architecture. The i-Blue demonstrates a significant step towards the future commercialization of Hyundai fuel cell vehicles, according to the company.
Hyundai is working toward mass production of hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles in the next decade.
The i-Blue is Hyundai’s first-ever model designed from the ground up to incorporate fuel cell technology, marking a tremendous leap forward for our R&D program. Our engineering team has successfully designed a more compact fuel cell vehicle, while still realizing the safety, comfort, convenience and driving range of a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle.—Dr. Hyun-Soon Lee, president of research and development
The i-Blue’s fuel cell stack is housed underfloor, not in the engine compartment as in the second-generation Tucson FCEV. This gives the car ideal 50:50 weight distribution for optimal driving and handling dynamics. Furthermore, by moving the fuel stack underfloor, the engine compartment is less densely populated, providing better air flow and cooling.