At a special preview event held in Seoul, Hyundai Motor offered an early glimpse of its next-generation fuel-cell vehicle, well ahead of the hydrogen-powered SUV’s official launch early next year. The new SUV (Fig. 1) is the company’s second commercially produced hydrogen model, and uses the company’s fourth generation of hydrogen fuel-cell technology.
1. To improve fuel efficiency, Hyundai’s FCEV features low-drag aerodynamic elements such as door handles that sit flush to the car. (Source: Hyundai Motor Company)
By way of review, a fuel cell is an electrochemical device that converts hydrogen to electricity (and heat) by means of interaction with a catalyst and oxygen. Water is the only by-product, making fuel cells environmentally friendly.
Senior VP Lee Ki-sang of Hyundai Motor Group’s Eco Technology Center characterized the second-generation FCEV as having “60% better system efficiency than the first-generation FCEV,” through internal development of fuel cells and powertrain components such as the electric motor.