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Hyundai completes development of 3rd generation fuel cell vehicle; targeting mass production in 2015

Tucson ix Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle. Click to enlarge.

Hyundai Motor Company has completed development of its next-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle—the Tucson ix Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)—and will begin testing next year with an eye toward 2015 mass production. (Earlier post.)

Hyundai’s third-generation FCEV is equipped with a 100kW fuel cell system and two hydrogen storage tanks (700 bar). The SUV has a full-tank range of 650 kilometers (404 miles)—equal to that of a gasoline-powered car. It can start in temperatures as low as -25 °C (-12 °F).

The Tucson ix FCEV’s range is a 76% improvement over the second-generation Tucson FCEV, which was limited to 370 kilometers (230 miles) on one filling. The new model gets gasoline equivalent fuel efficiency of 31 kilometers per liter (73 mpg US), a 15% improvement over the previous version. (Earlier post.)

More than 95% of the Tucson ix FCEV’s major components were made with Korean technology through close collaboration with about 120 domestic auto parts manufacturers. Overall volume of the fuel cell system was downsized by 20% compared to the previous system via modularization of bulky parts in the fuel cell system including fuel cell stack, balance of plant (BOP), inverter and high voltage junction box.

Hyundai took part in the Learning Demonstration Program organized by the US Department of Energy between 2004 and 2009. Next year, 48 Tucson ix FCEVs will be part of a Domestic Fleet Program supported by the Korean government.

Hyundai hydrogen vehicles have so far registered more than 2 million kilometers. Hyundai plans to make a limited supply of the Tucson ix FCEV in 2012 and begin mass production in 2015. Hyundai unveiled a cutaway version of the vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Comparison of new Tucson ix FCEV (3rd generation) and Tucson FCEV (2nd generation)
 ix FCEVTucson FCEV
Fuel cell stack output 100 kW 100 kW
Drive system 100 kW 100 kW
Energy Storage System 21 kW
100 kW
Hydrogen storage 700 bar,
5.6 kg
350 bar,
3.5 kg
Max. speed 160 km/h 160 km/h
Gasoline equivalent fuel efficiency 31 km/L
(73 mpg US, 3.23 L/100km)
27 km/L
(64 mpg US, 3.7 L/100km)
Max. range 650 km
(404 miles)
370 km
(230 miles)



Fair enough, Wintermane, but practicality is an integral question.

Consider high-speed rail: Talgo-type trainsets run NON-electrified to reach only 150mph. The Talgo XXI raises a pantograph to overhead wire where environmental benefits of electrification through urban settings are most important. Talgo systems work with existing railways, improve freight rail, can upgrade track piece-by-piece. Acela-type 200+mph trainsets require entirely grade separated ROWs so expensive, they're cost prohibitive. In other words, 200mph idealism will kill high speed rail. Talgo systems can be practically arranged in 1/4 the time and work just as well. Top speed is less important than 'average speed' and reliability.

As for automobiles, factors that must be considered are their sheer numbers, the impacts of roadways, impacts upon economies and culture, etc, along with their fuel/energy requirement. Those who profit from car-dependency don't want you to think about it, ie, the editors of Mindless Consumer Monthly magazine.


High speed trains arnt about idealism its about time. Thus why they are popping up all over the place. To replace an airplane you have to go fast enough to do the job of replacing the airplane. Just a bit too slow and that bussiness trip takes an extra day or two and thats expense and lost time and money. To catch the people who are realy eating up the airspace we need to get them there and back in thier time budget.

On cars I diont see it that way. I see electric cars alot more like a disel car.. and hydrogen cars more like a gasoline car. One is built for fuel economy the other for performace and driving characteristics.

Because h2 is cheap enough to make I know cars running on it will be drivable by a fairly large percentage of the population. And because we are talking about dropping oil and going h2 the impact isnt negative in my eyes.. Yes it will cost money.. the target market has that money. Yes SOME places have severe car troubles.. not enough roads.. not enough space to put roads... but for alot of places it will work out just fine. Those other places will have to muddle on trying to cope via more mass transit that actualy manages to be used by the masses and more roads to catch everyone who does get served by the mass transit systen... Or that city will simply have to die back as better equiped and run cities take thier population away from them.

Either way it will work out in the long run painfuly maybe but it will work out.

Frankly im not realy worried about most big cities these days because climate shifts should wipe em off the face of the earth anway fairly soon so we can rebuild better cities elsewhere.. like we have always done.


You keep saying you know hydrogen is cheap, but it will always cost more in energy terms than the natural gas or electricity it is made from.


Wintermane, scientists consider all the facts to prove a hypothesis. I've added facts to the argument, but you don't consider them, therefore, your vision of the future doesn't pencil out. Hydrogen and fuel cell cars and driving aren't cheap. Formulate solutions that save cities and suburbs from decay and abandonment.

You live near a proposed high-speed rail line whose construction and your ability to use it is in jeopardy. Yet unworried, you dream on about a perceived necessity that run as fast as possible, no matter the cost and impact. Your ideal for speed may kill the project or others like it. Thanks for nothin.

Rail travel is not about time or speed. Take a trip on Amtrak sometime. It's all about the ride, the view, the comfort. Those who must travel faster will fly or drive. Today's relatively slow rail speed and time compete with air travel on trips of less than 400 miles. Factor in the travel service to residents of stations between the long distance. Less is only More, Faster is actually Slower. If you want to get there faster, travel slowly.


Correction: in the last paragraph above, "Less is NOT only More, Faster is actually Slower."


Sirkulat... say your target group can afford more then 1 buck a mile fuel costs.. amazingly enough there is such a target group. You could sell h2 at 100 bucks a kilo and they would still be able to drive.

Drop that down to 50 cents a mile. Alot more people now in that range. Suv drivers in europe.. high performance car drivers in europe. Even some drivers here in the us when gas hit 5 bucks a gallon. Now with slightly less bulky a car your talking 30-40 bucks a kilo.

Now target 20 cents a mile. A more economical car. You could charge 15-20 even 25 bucks a kilo and depending on the car it would work out to 20 cents a mile.

Now target 10 cents a mile.. most cars dont manage this right now. If your car can manage 100 mpk and given that suvs are managing 70-75... and fuel cells are getting better... 10 bucks a kilo would work out.

Now target 5 cents a mile. A compact fuel cell car and say 7 bucks a kilo fuel should magae that target.

Now target 2 cents a mile... in india right now fuel cell mopeds run for 75 km on just 50 GRAMS of h2. They cost between 2k and 2600 bucks. They are out there right now. And that fuel cell is nowhere near as good as most...


Fuel cell mopeds aren't going to work very well for getting the kid to the doctor in Bemidji in February. A car like the Volt already has a cost ceiling well below those worst-case numbers for its first 30-odd miles after a charge. As oil prices go up, PHEVs and EVs will become the obvious choice.


It depends on what happens in the next 10 years realy ep. I expect in india alot of low hp bev and fuel cell mincars will pop up after mass produced low ene fduel cells and batteries hit the market.

They wont be shiney wonderfulness for the us and europe markets but they will certainly get you around town in india. Mind you alot of people seem to be converting to propane fueled little cars/carts.. not exactly safe little things but they do the job rather well.

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