Hyundai has just debuted its environmentally-friendly Tucson hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle – which is leading the way in alternative fuel development.
The Tucson will be starting trials in small business fleets in the US at the end of this year.
Kim Sang-Kwon, President of Research and Development at Hyundai, said: "Entering this new phase of our programme is very exciting because we will be able to build fuel cell electric vehicles in higher volumes for fleet testing applications. It also brings us one step closer to the commercialisation of fuel cell vehicles."
The fuel cell programme is being developed at the same time as the conventional petrol and diesel Tucson models, so all development data goes into the fuel cell car at the same time.
The Tucson FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) boasts a touring range that has been extended to 186 miles, thanks to its 152 litre hydrogen storage tanks. It also has the capability of starting and running in sub-zero conditions.
Hyundai’s Tucson FCEV is slightly lighter than the Santa Fe FCEV, and is capable of a top speed of 93mph, from its 80kW electric motor.
Thanks to its lightweight aluminium body, the Tucson FCEV has a power-to-weight ratio similar to a conventional sports utility vehicle.
Hyundai will once again be teaming up with UTC Fuel Cells of Connecticut and Enova Systems of California to develop the Tucson FCEV. The current fleet of Santa Fe FCEVs, another joint project between Hyundai, UTC and Enova, was highly commended in the industry, winning two gold medals at the 2001 Michelin Challenge Bibendum – and a further five in 2003.Published 11 March 2004