|Cutaway model of the new Tucson/ix35 FCEV. Click to enlarge.
Hyundai unveiled its Tucson/ ix35 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, saying that the introduction was moving it another step closer to the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.
The Tucson / ix35 FCEV incorporates several important innovations over the previous generation Tucson FCEV that will enable it to meet its goal of ramping up production volume of FCEVs into the thousands by 2012. Key innovations include:
Adoption of metallic separators (bipolar plates) in the Hyundai fuel cell stack. Metallic separators replace graphite, which is extremely difficult and expensive to manufacture. The metallic separators significantly reduce the cost of the fuel cell stack and simplify the fuel cell manufacturing process.
Advances in modularization which simplifies final assembly. Fuel cell engineers at the company’s Eco-Tech Research and Development Centre in Mabuk, Korea have succeeded in taking complex arrays of components and combining them into simpler modules, improving production scalability. As a result, the person-hours required to assemble an FCEV have been drastically reduced, making it economically feasible to ramp up production into the thousands.
Adoption of a 21 kW LiPoly electrical storage battery pack in place of super capacitors: LiPoly storage batteries are already in mass production and with the improved economies of scale, LiPoly technology can now be cost-effectively applied to FCEVs thereby lowering their overall cost.
Adoption of an induction motor instead of a permanent magnet-type motor for cost benefits. Even with the slight decrease in overall vehicle efficiency associated with induction motors, their use will offset the cost risk associated with magnetic motors which depend on rare earth elements whose prices have soared in recent years because of their scarcity and high demand.
By 2012, Hyundai plans to begin manufacturing FCEVs in the low thousands and delivering them to fleet customers in Korea.
|Hyundai Tucson/ix35 FCEV
|160 km/h (99 mph)
|650 km (404 miles)
|Stack max. output
|Motor max. output
|Motor max. torque
|300 N·m (221 lb-ft)
|Hydrogen tank max. pressure
|Hydrogen tank capacity