Hyundai introduced its first-generation fuel cell vehicle to California in 2014. But a little more than two years later, the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell is the most expensive vehicle of its kind, and offers far less range than its competitors. Fortunately, the automaker is preparing a second-generation fuel cell vehicle that is slated to launch globally in January 2018.
According to a report from the Nikkei, a second-generation Hyundai fuel cell SUV will increase range by around 30 percent. It should travel up to 348 miles on a single fillup. That number would put it ahead of the Toyota Mirai (312 miles), but behind the new Honda Clarity Fuel Cell (366 miles). While range anxiety may not seem like such a problem at these numbers, the limited hydrogen fueling infrastructure makes it an important issue.
The report also says Hyundai wants to keep prices at a reasonable level of around 60 million won, or in the ballpark of $50,000. With government subsidies, the actual prices could be much lower. Currently, the Tucson Fuel Cell leases for $499 a month in California and achieves a range of 265 miles. It’s unclear whether or not Hyundai plans to continue with its lease-only strategy here in the U.S.
The Nikkei report confirms an earlier story from Automotive News, which said Hyundai would bring out a next-gen fuel cell just in time for the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea in February. But that report, which cited Hyundai’s eco-vehicle development chief Ahn Byung-ki, noted it would be a “totally new” vehicle that lies “somewhere between a CUV and SUV.”
Before it brings out a new hydrogen-powered vehicle, Hyundai will introduce a commercial fuel cell bus around the same time that Toyota brings out one of its own. Although not much is known about this new bus, expect a marketing rollout sometime in 2017, the Nikkei says.
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