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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)



PHEV retains the necessity of instant heat.
PHEV can burn any fuel, including hydrogen.
PHEV need not redesign vehicles for lightest weight, thus is applicable to larger vehicles.
PHEV increases battery utility for household uses.
Hydrogen fuel cell application, advantages and benefits are limited.

Roger Pham

PHEV will need a lot of batteries, which, at this time, is still quite expensive.
Batteries are still quite heavy and take up valuable space.

Hydrogen and FC technologies are getting better and better, and the future potential will be very large.

Please note that this Hyundai FCV SUV is 3 times more efficient than a comparable SUV. 73 mpg for this FCV vs. 25 mpg for a comparable SUV. When H2 is going to be produced at the same cost as gasoline, then the energy cost of this FCV will be even less than that of a PHEV or BEV using grid electricity, or 1/3 the fuel cost of a comparable gasoline SUV.


And hydrogen could be produced locally without imported crude oil. That alone may be enough to delay hydrogen technologies for decades.

USA could use Wind, Solar, Nuclear, NG, SG and Coal to produce hydrogen. Oil people would not like that.

Eventually, hydrogen could be produced domestically and cleanly in large enough quantities with Solar roof power and water.


The FCEV may be 3x as efficient as an ICEV, but it's still only about half as efficient as a BEV and will need another trillion dollars in infrastructure to build out the USA to make it feasible.

Hydrogen is a boondoggle, being used by the oil companies to block transition to PHEVs and BEVs.


E-P may be right but FCs will develop and may very well find a market, specially as clean e-range extender for heavy e-vehicles. Locomotives could be good candidates by replacing the current large diesel with a battery bank and a larger FC or two smaller one for clean cable less operation. Other heavy fuel consumers such as large buses and heavy trucks (12+ million is USA) could also be converted.

PHEVs and BEVs are (will soon be) ideal for personal vehicles, specially when batteries performance is increased 2x to 3x and their cost is down to 1/3 or less. Secretary Chu says that will come by 2016. However, mass production may take another 3 or 4 years.

Interesting decade we live in.


A good while back a friend of mine explained to me the real problems facing bevs.

Say you start with a current gen snotbox.

You ONLY increase range by 10% and decrease pack size by 10% and cost by 10%... sounds easy.

It isnt. That results in a battery 90 units in size that needs to hold 110 units of energy and cost 90 units of moola.. That means it has to hold almost 25% more energy per unit of space or weight AND that each unit of battery must also cost almost 25% less...

And how many times can they manage that? And how many do they need to break 1% 5% 15% of the market?

And then there is mass transit.. yes normal cars dont have to worry about it but a car that is for the city and only goes 50-70 miles total.. thats very much mass transitity. All the hassle and annoyance of a car and yet the range of mass transit... Mnay potential bev buyers have already moved to where they no longer need or WANT a car.

We know there is a sizable market for fuel cell devices of various sizes.. and we know mass transit and other things cant fill that market.

We have no such clarity in the market segment the bev hopes to enter.. WE DONT EVEN KNOW IF IT WILL EXIST 20 YEARS FROM NOW.


Harvey, a hydrogen fuel cell using RE (e.g. wind) as an energy source is competing against electricity carried by batteries at 2-3 times the efficiency. It cannot compete using the same energy supply with that much of a penalty in efficiency; this is why the European Fuel Cell Forum discontinued its work on PEM FC's.

The PEM FC is competitive if it uses hydrogen chemically generated from coal or natural gas. It's pretty obvious that the fossil-fuel industries will push hydrogen because it gives them the advantage over wind and nuclear; bad for vehicles and the rest of the world, but good for them.


Ep nobody cares. All they will see is 400 mile range and what price per fill up and the fact its an suv.

Thats it.

To most everyone out there its simply an eletric car that is as likely to be run on pure clean sources of energy as any other elctric car.. only this one refills fast and goes 400 miles and comes in suvs and crossovers.

When fuel cell performance cars and supercars pop up replacing old v8 v10 v12 w 12 w16 engines cars that will cement the place of fuel cell cars. Suvs crossovers minivans will also cement it even more.

NONE of these are markets for bevs. For bevs they are extremely high hanging fruit. For fuel cells however they are easy pickings.

And that is why we will have both types of cars. high hanging fruit of one is the low hanging fruit of the other.


Well said E-P. USA has good reserves of NG and SG to produce hydrogen with, but not enough crude oil the run its huge fleets. It would make sense to convert and/or build heavy diesel fuel users, such as locomotives, ships, large trucks, large buses to PHEVs equipped with a battery bank (or other energy storage device) and one or two FC as range extenders.

Other than for city buses and machines capable of picking up quick charges, the BEVs approach is not well suited for other very heavy vehicles. An on-board range extender is almost a necessity. ICE range extenders may currently be cheaper but they use liquid fuels (that USA does not have enough of) and create GHG.


How much electricity can a single rooftop photovoltiac array create? Enough to split H2O, compress (700 bar = 10,000 lbs pressure) and store the hydrogen? Or, more than enough to recharge the smaller PHEV battery pack?

Is the photovoltiac array better matched to a battery pack? As for cost considerations, the array plus vehicle and stationary fuel cells add up. Doesn't the current fuel cell vehicle technology use a battery pack? Wouldn't hydrogen in an ICE hybrid configuration be more practical?

I find it hard to believe this SUV gets the equivalent of 73mpg. In theory I suppose, maybe. Fuel cell tech is as impractical as maintaining current levels of long-distance travel and transport. Trying to maintain it with fuel cell tech won't succeed. Less is more.


I see alot of old folk who just cant get thier tired old brains around the idea of a fuel cell stack and so cling to the old comfortable familair battery even in cases where a battery is very ill suited. Its something they understand and feel comfortable with so of course it can do everything...

Dont worry senility will come to ease your mind soon enough. Let the world handle this itself.. dont worry its ok.

nobody cares. All they will see is 400 mile range and what price per fill up and the fact its an suv.
Nothing prevents an SUV platform from running on batteries. But that price per fill-up is going to be big; when gas is back to $5/gallon and hydrogen is at par when you can get it, electricity will still be under $1/gge (at the wheels) even in pricey California.
It would make sense to convert and/or build heavy diesel fuel users, such as locomotives
Railroads are best to electrify and dispense with combustion engines entirely. They get superior performance and regenerative braking in the bargain.
How much electricity can a single rooftop photovoltiac array create? Enough to split H2O, compress (700 bar = 10,000 lbs pressure) and store the hydrogen?
The question isn't "whether" but "how much". It'll take several times as much of an array to go the hydrogen route versus batteries, and we already have a grid which can move power from home to the office or wherever you happen to be plugging in at the time. The least-cost scheme is probably going to be wind-battery rather than PV-hydrogen, though dynamic charging of batteries could be a good way to buffer short-term variations in PV output from clouds.

Nothing prevents an SUV platform from running on batteries

Um you mean other then the fact it would be freaking HUGE?

As for cost.. h2 will be less then gasoline per mile.

We are looking at cars with 100-200-500kwh in the tank and a powerplant capable of powering motors with a combined 40 hp up to 1500 hp or more in the space of a car or truck. 500 hp up to 1000000 hp and beyond in the space of larger items.

I can definetly see a 2000 hp fuel cell bugatti by 2030 or so.

A 700 hp fuel cell musclecar.

A 5-600 hp large high end sedan.

a 600 hp super suv.. hell maybe even a 1200hp supercar variant of the suv.. 200 plus mph 5 ton hehemoth soccer mom mobile... with room for 12 and 50 super cup holders designed for high speed mega ultra big gulp drinking at autobahn speeds.

And of course I can see the 1000 hp mega mini coupe going down the road at 300 mph...


Wintermane, you may buy into the corporate meme if you choose. GW Bushco cancelled hybrid R&D and promoted hydrogen fuel cell for a reason, namely, fuel cell technology suits corporate power. Their car-driven future is unsustainable. What I see, Wintermane, is gullible people buying the corporate lie as seen on TV and heard over car radios, blah blah blah.

Returning to my original post this string, Engineer-poet et al, PHEV is best matched with rooftop photovoltiac solar array. The smartest grid we can create teaches homeowners lessons in energy conservation, provides a back-up power in emergencies, increases the utility of battery pack energy storage and use, and reduces overall driving distance and driving as the only choice. If you guys can't wrap your heads around these ideas, you're useless. We drive too much, too far, for too many purposes, at too high cost and impact. Fk GM.


Sir... It would take a 1929 style recession to convince 50+% of us to drive less. Driving around has become a national past time and a necessity. Going to work; shopping; to the ball games; to school; etc runs into 40,000 + Km/year for the the average family. This may not change much unless families get to be smaller (like in China?); we get better public transports; we move down town or move work places to the suburbs. Since solutions will no come this current century, we will probably drive even more in 10 years time.


sirlulat bosh didnt cancel hybrid funding he absorbed it into the future car program. That program helped push the dev of compact lith ion packs.. high power to weigh/size packs perfect for hybrid cars and fuel cell cars.. AND those very same very cheap packs are now popping up in hybrid designs because again they are CHEAP and very good for hybrid cars.

a .4 kwh 4 kilo pack that can belt out 20-30 kw of power is perfect and can be crammed under the seat.

As for bushco and fuel cell cars.. again they have done the math the people who will buy the cars can fund the whole thing rather easy with just 5% of what they pay for the fuel and car being needed to fund the rollout of the whole shebang. Because unlike you the oil companies and gas companies and all have entire aqrmies of very well educated bean counters and they KNOW how to cost it all out and plan it all out.

Thats why I dont worry. They have more then enough top notch talent keeping track of all the beans and it realy does work out numbers wise.


Bush killed a program set to deliver to consumers in 4 years and replaced it with one which wouldn't be ready for well over a decade, if ever.

A PNGV car would be close to the ultimate PHEV. That was the threat.


No he didnt. The old program ran to its end and the new program as PART of its overall project worked on the very bits that still needed to be worked on for a plug in hybrid car to work. Both hybrids and plug in hybrids needed high power batteries so they could use smaller packs to save cost. They also needed better power control thingies and whatever the hell it was it was too many years ago for me to realy care.

Anyway all that was already being worked on with the future car so it all got wrapped in together. Ad the bits needed for the plug ins were EARLY goals of the future car project no it ewasnt a decades off plan.

The old program ran to its end
Yeah, right:
PNGV had a ten year goal of creating a hybrid production prototype that is three times more fuel efficient than a comparable 1994 model, by 2004.
On "Freedom Car":
The FreedomCAR initiative differs from the PNGV program in that the FreedomCAR initiative shifts the focus away from technologies close at hand to fuel cells.... FreedomCAR is taking a more long-term approach, with 2010 component technology goals to gauge progress.
Bush changed the goal from production in about 2005 to "component technology" in 2010. If you think it was about anything except preventing fuel-saving technologies from coming to market for a decade or more, you're deluded.

Harvey, you're just repeating the corporate mantra, ie, what you read in Motor Trend, Car & Driver, Popular Mechanics, Mindless Consumer Monthly, etc. My posts add factors which those corporate sponsors omit and your equations lack. The amount of driving US citizens do every day is plainly unsustainable.

Aside from fuel cell and Li-ion battery development, the vehicle technology we must persue is the one that combines with the grid and leads to driving less. Toward those goals, PHEV is most applicable by far.


ep that link you give has malware on it big time.. I suggest you scan your computer.

Anyway as I remember it they got the basic design of the car down and the new program worked on the components needed to actualy MAKE a sellable car.

Sirkulat its not realy that big of a deal providing the hydrogen for the cars. Even the projected 2040 hydrogen consumption will be easy for the hydrogen industry to provide without major discombobulations.

We already use gobsmacking amounts of the stuff as is and our use even without cars running on it is growing rapidly. So realy it doesnt matter. The h2 fueled cars will make up some portaion of the fleet and consume some portion of the hydrogen we produce.. what those final numbers wind up being no one knows. But we do know now that they will be out in number and they will work. Thats all we needed to know to get this party going.


Wishful thinking, Wintermane, isn't convincing. You must NOT live in a big city and face a daily commute; or maybe you do and oppose investment in mass transit. Maybe you think urban planning is evil socialism and driving is freedom.


Oh I live in a small city and no I dont appose mass transit. I dont like mass transit that depends on strike prone labor thats true. I prefer automated mass transit systems. Im also VERY much into high speed electric traisn to replace most city to city air travel. In fact our little city is right on the high speed rail line path that we hope they will start building soon.

I just dont have tunnel vision to think other methods of travel wont also grow into large markets too.

I have never owned nor ever wanted a high performance car or an suv but I am not blind to the fact they are wanted by people with ALOT of money and that that money will attract enough investment to get them what they want in fuel cell cars and trucks. I follow battery tech fuel cell tech compressed air tech flywheel tech biofuels tech and so on simply because I find it engrassing to see how all these different methods are panning out and comming along amazingly well. I love it when they actualy managed to make a real compressed air car.. granted id never fit in it but still its amazing!

I actualy love the g whiz even tho again I dont think id actualy fit in it its wonderful.. if a tad dangerous in a crash.

I dont want any one idea to win I want alot of realy cool techs to come to power and make for a cornacopia of realy cool cars. All I want is a realy cool future not a boring one.


Winter, the PNGV program did more than simply produce "the basic design of the car." Before the program had been cancelled GM, Ford, and Chrysler had all created working concept vehicles of 5 passenger family cars that achieved at least 72 mpg - the GM car even got 80 mpg. As for how "sellable" the cars could have been, well I've seen pictures of them and they would not have been out of place with the other sedans GM, Ford, and Chrysler were already selling.

In fact I'd say those cars were far less radical looking than Ford's earlier Probe concept cars;


BTW, even if you want to deride them as only "concept vehicles" that would still need work before they could be sellable, with the working concept vehicles getting 70-80 mpg, a showroom ready version would have had to have been really f'd up to not be twice as fuel efficient as anything comparible then on the road.

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