Geneva 2017: Hyundai's Water-inspired FE Fuel Cell Concept

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
geneva 2017 hyundais water inspired fe fuel cell concept

For reasons unbeknownst to me, Hyundai Motors revealed its next-generation hydrogen fuel cell concept at the Geneva Motor Show this week — showing continued commitment to the technology, despite the lack of infrastructure needed to make it truly viable. Dubbed the FE, or “Future Eco,” the company says the SUV alludes to its next phase of zero emission vehicles.

Sporting similar dimensions, the FE will likely replace the $50,000 Tucson Fuel Cell once it assumes its final form, because it cannot possibly go to market looking like this. Low profile whitewalls and oversized drug dealer rims rarely end up as from-the-factory hardware. However, there are some interesting off-kilter features that might stick around.

For those living in a dry climate with respiratory problems, the FE has an on-board air humidifier that recycles the hydrogen fuel cell’s water-only emissions and makes for a more-enjoyable breathing experience. Hyundai also included portable battery packs and a charging/storage space for an electric scooter. Of course, it called this a “mobility solution” to “match future lifestyles,” which almost forces me to file it under the pure hype category.

A trunk-mounted scooter isn’t entirely out of the question, though. Japan was cramming tiny Motocompo two-wheelers into the back of the Honda City in the 1980s, so there is no reason why Hyundai couldn’t toss an adorable electric pocket bike into the back of a much larger vehicle.

The company claims the FE’s hydrogen technology is 20 percent lighter, 10 percent more efficient, and provides 30 percent more power density than the current Tucson ix35 fuel cell stack — allowing for a range of 497 miles between fill-ups. While there is no word on dynamic performance, it’s safe to assume an attempt was made to improve the hydrogen-fuelled Tucson’s 12-second zero-to-60 time.

The SUV that Hyundai says the Future Eco heralds is set for launch in 2018 and the company says it’s working on releasing at least 14 new environmentally-focused models by 2020.

[Images: Hyundai Motors]

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