Next Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell to have 30 percent more range


2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at Hyundai headquarters, Fountain Valley, CA

The current Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell was the first of the recent crop of hydrogen fuel-cell cars to go on sale; its first U.S. deliveries started back in June 2014.

Since then, The Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity Fuel Cell sedans have also become available in the U.S., though all three makers limit sales to specific regions of California.

Hyundai has also transitioned the gasoline Tucson to a new platform, while keeping the hydrogen fuel-cell model on the previous-generation platform.

DON'T MISS: Next-generation Hyundai hydrogen fuel cells due in 2018

Now it appears that Hyundai is planning a second-generation fuel-cell crossover, with a new and improved powertrain.

This new Hyundai fuel-cell model will arrive within two years, and will have 30 percent more range than the current Tucson Fuel Cell, according to a recent Nikkei report.

The Tucson Fuel Cell has an EPA-rated range of 265 miles, putting it well behind the 366 miles of the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, and 312 miles of the Toyota Mirai.

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at Hyundai headquarters, Fountain Valley, CA

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at Hyundai headquarters, Fountain Valley, CA

Enlarge Photo

The next-generation model will arrive in January 2018, supposedly priced at around $50,000.

A 2018 launch date was mentioned by Hyundai eco-vehicle development director Ahn Byung-ki, who said it would coincide with the Winter Olympic Games in Hyundai's home country of South Korea.

The PyeongChang Games will give Hyundai a chance to show off its fuel-cell technology, he noted.

ALSO SEE: Kia to focus on hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles before electrics, chief engineer says

All reports so far indicate the next Hyundai fuel-cell vehicle will be another crossover like the current Tucson Fuel Cell.

But last year, Hyundai fuel-cell research boss Sae-Hoon Kim said the new model would be based on a dedicated platform distinct from internal-combustion vehicles.

That means that the hydrogen-powered crossover utility could become a separate model with its own name, rather than an adaptation of the gasoline Tucson model.

Toyota FC Bus hydrogen fuel-cell bus

Toyota FC Bus hydrogen fuel-cell bus

Enlarge Photo

In addition to a replacement for the current Tucson Fuel Cell, Hyundai is also planning a hydrogen fuel-cell bus, according to Nikkei.

The bus will reportedly appear sometime in 2017, within months of the launch of a Toyota fuel-cell bus.

When it unveiled its bus in October, Toyota said said the Tokyo Metropolitan Government already plans to use two of the vehicles on specific routes.

MORE: Toyota to launch fuel-cell buses next year for Olympics

While the first buses will be delivered next year, Toyota previously said the pace of deliveries will not ramp up until 2018.

Toyota hopes to have 100 fuel-cell buses on the road by the time the 2020 Summer Olympics kick off in Tokyo.

Like Hyundai, Toyota plans to use the Olympics as a showcase for hydrogen fuel-cell technology, although it is also expected to unveil a mass-market battery-electric car around that time.

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