By on June 6, 2010

With Honda and Toyota suddenly taking hydrogen fuel cells seriously, Hyundai-Kia is jumping on the bandwagon. Byung Ki Ahn, general manager of Hyundai-Kia’s Fuel Cell Group tells Autocar

There are already agreements between car makers such as ourselves and legislators in Europe, North America and Japan to build up to the mass production of fuel cell cars by 2015. Hydrogen production capacity and refuelling infrastructure will be improved. Pilot-scale production of 1000 fuel cell cars a year will begin for us in two years. Our first cars won’t be fully commercialised [they will probably be leased , not bought outright] but they will allow us to make the final stages of development progress before we begin commercial production of around 10,000 hydrogen cars a year in 2015

And it should come as no surprise that Hyundai is targeting a lower price point than its Japanese competition:

Our fuel cell stack can run at ambient atmospheric pressure, so we don’t need an air compressor and it contains less platinum, making it cheaper. Since 2004 we’ve eliminated 90 per cent of its typical material cost. Toyota has a target to produce 50,000 fuel cell cars a year and expects to be able to price them at $50,000 [£35,000]. We’re confident we can beat it.

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2 Comments on “Hyundai-Kia Jump On The Fuel Cell Bandwagon...”

  • avatar

    I’m all about hydrogen as a fuel, but very dubious about the total energy calculation due to the difficulty of separating H2 from the rest of the stuff it clings to.

    On top of the usual infrastructure issues that will also plague EVs, the May 6, 1937 incident in New Jersey (Hindenburg) remains the stereotype for hydrogen in people’s minds. Or maybe the January 28, 1986 incident in Florida (Challenger). Neither disaster is due to hydrogen as a fuel, but that won’t matter much to some.

    I’m interested to hear more about how Honda fared with the Clarity in CA. Certainly Toyota and Hyundai are taking some guidance from their experience.

  • avatar

    Hydrogen production in the US is by steam reforming of natural gas at oil refineries. It is inefficient and produces CO2. Because of that I dont get the point of H2 powered cars.

    Still, I would love to see an ad for the Hyundai Hindenburg.

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