Hyundai targets 1,400 units a year of next-gen fuel-cell vehicle: report


Hyundai FE Fuel Cell concept, 2017 Geneva auto show

Hyundai FE Fuel Cell concept, 2017 Geneva auto show

It's public knowledge that Hyundai plans to replace its aging Tucson Fuel Cell utility vehicle with an all-new hydrogen-powered vehicle, and that it has big plans for the future.

The Korean automaker showcased the FE Fuel Cell concept in March to provide a glimpse of what to expect when the dedicated design for its next fuel-cell vehicle arrives in 2018.

Now it appears that Hyundai plans to target a volume of 1,400 units a year for the production version of the FE Fuel Cell concept vehicle.

DON'T MISS: Hyundai FE Fuel Cell Concept previews hydrogen-powered SUV coming in 2018

According to the business journal's sources, Hyundai has already signed contracts that will allow it to produce as many as 3,600 units of the production FE, starting early next year.

That 1,400 sales figure may seem small, but it will be a major increase in production if Hyundai manages to achieve it.

Business Korea reports that production of the new model represents an increase of 15 times over that of the outgoing Tucson Fuel Cell.

Hyundai FE Fuel Cell concept, 2017 Geneva auto show

Hyundai FE Fuel Cell concept, 2017 Geneva auto show

Hyundai sold just 27 Tuscon Fuel Cells globally during 2013 after the crossover was introduced.

So far, in total, 666 Tucson Fuel Cells have been sold around the world since it was introduced.

Lack of hydrogen fueling stations is the major hurdle for fuel-cell vehicles, along with cost.

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

However, China, Europe, and the state of California each plan to construct hundreds of new stations to help propel fuel cell vehicles and spur new sales.

Their long range ratings have made them a preferred zero-emission vehicle technology, particularly in Asia. The Toyota Mirai can go 312 miles on a single fill-up, for example (the Tucson Fuel Cell was rated at 265 miles).

Hyundai aims for a 500-mile range with its production FE fuel cell vehicle, though, that figure is likely based on Asian or European test cycles.

Hyundai FE Fuel Cell concept, 2017 Geneva auto show

Hyundai FE Fuel Cell concept, 2017 Geneva auto show

EPA estimates for range tend to be lower, although considerably more accurate for real-world North American driving.

Hyundai's upcoming fuel-cell SUV will also likely share engineering and underpinnings with a future Genesis GV80 fuel-cell vehicle as well.

The automaker's luxury marque revealed the GV80 at the 2017 New York auto show.

CHECK OUT: Genesis GV80 fuel-cell concept SUV at NY auto show

Hyundai plans to introduce a dedicated crossover design for fuel cell vehicles in the future, rather than adopting a current design and platform as it did for the Tucson Fuel Cell.

Genesis executives suggest the premium brand will better be able to absorb the costs of expensive fuel-cell technology as adoption rates slowly increase.

[hat tip: Miguel Angel Garcia]

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