Although there are big obstacles ahead of them, Hyundai has big hopes for the future and has announced that they will start mass production of cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The company will begin building a hydrogen-powered Tucson ix SUVs at the company’s Ulsan plant in South Korea and their current aim is to sell 1000 of those zero-emission vehicles around the world by 2015. The immediate plan is that 15 of the new models will head to Denmark and two units to Sweden this April for municipal use.
Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman Kim Eok-jo said, “We expect to realize an environmentally friendly era more quickly through the mass production of hydrogen fuel cell cars for the first time in the world“.
A hydrogen-powered vehicle is certainly good for the environment as it emits only water vapor after hydrogen is converted into electricity.
As for the performance of the vehicle, Bloomberg says that it lags behind its gasoline-powered rivals but gives a smooth driving experience. It produces 134 horsepower and accelerates from 0 to 60mph in just over 12 seconds. Hyundai says that the car can go for about 370 miles before there is a need for refuelling.
But refuelling is one of the problems as there is a scarcity of fuelling stations. Reports suggest that there are only 13 stations across South Korea, but more stations are also being planned. Another major problem is the production cost, with estimates suggesting a price tag of $200,000. In comparison, the standard Tucson costs $19,935. But the company is promising that the price can be lowered to around $50,000 by 2015 after the tech improves.
If all the problems are taken care of, finally we can take an eco friendly route by not relying too much on internal combustion engines. What do you think?