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Kia Corp and Hyundai Motor, together, make the Hyundai Motor Group, henceforth referred to as “the Group”. Together, the Group has been doing a lot of exciting stuff in the world of automobiles and automotive technology. The last we heard, the Group is working with Next Hydrogen to develop the new third-generation fuel cell. What we didn’t know was all the plans the Group has in store for this new power source.
At the moment, the Group is already mass-producing a greatly improved version of the current XCIENT Fuel Cell, the world’s first mass produced fuel cell heavy-duty truck, but there are more applications for fuel cells, such as high-performance vehicles, urban air mobility, robots, aircrafts, and large ships. The means of utilization doesn’t stop at transportation either. Fuel cell systems and technologies can eventually power and provide electricity and heating to buildings, urban energy sources, and entire power plants. Now, the future of the timeline is clear - introduce the new third generation fuel cell system in 2023, match the current price point of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2030 (meaning the two are equally profitable), and then expand the capabilities of this new fuel cell in 2040 in a variety of industries.
Just take a look at some of the projects the Group is working on for the future of hydrogen fuel cells. A fully autonomous Trailer Drone that can travel over 600 miles on a single charge to transport containers. This development spawned another product from the engineering team, the Fuel Cell e-Bogie. We’re talking about huge commercial and industrialized utilizations, able to move containers on a fully enclosed rail system, with fuel cell propulsion and fully independent four-wheel steering for operation either portside or in tight urban environments. However, the Fuel Cell e-Bogie is not exclusive to the Trailer Drone, and has non-industrial uses, such as firefighting and disaster relief missions. A Rescue Drone doubles this effort with a new concept of mobility that combines turns the Fuel Cell e-Bogie into a flying drone, capable of remote and autonomous operations during life-saving situations, able to travel up to 310 miles from a single charge.
Moving more toward consumer-based features, the new fuel cell technology will also be applicable to high-performance vehicle engineering and technology. The Group has already showed a concept hydrogen-powered hybrid sports car, named the Vision FK. Able to generate up to 670 horsepower, the Vision FK can accelerate from 0-60 mph in four seconds. Designed with a rear-wheel drivetrain configuration, this concept can achieve over 350 miles, again, from just one charge. Fuel cells are pretty powerful.
Way back when we first started discussing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, there was the problem of how to recharge these vehicles and how practical they were. That’s why the Group is also building a heavy-duty vehicle equipped with charging facilities for fuel cell vehicles. Until they build hydrogen fueling stations, a portable hydrogen refueling station is convenient and can reach areas with limited hydrogen refueling stations until they become more popular. On top of that, a Rescue Hydrogen Generator Vehicle (RHGV) can help power vehicles in remote, off-road areas, offering a single-phase 220V and 3-phase 380V simultaneous power supply.
It all sounds pretty exciting, and we can’t wait to see what happens next. Keep up with the Hydrogen Vision 2040 plan when you follow us on NowCar social media.