The Hyundai FE hydrogen fuel cell concept arrives at the Geneva Motor Show previewing a new, standalone, more efficient hydrogen fuel cell SUV.
The rise and rise of battery electric vehicles is continuing despite no new disruptive technology arriving to make them a properly viable alternative to ICE vehicles, and unless, or until, that changes, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are an enticing alternative.
Hyundai is at the forefront of hydrogen fuel cell technology and the real world delivery of fuel cell powered cars (the ix35 FCEV), albeit at a price which makes them more a curiosity rather than a truly viable alternative at present.
But Hyundai are continuing to improve and refine their hydrogen fuel cell future and this, the new Hyundai FE Concept, previews a car we expect to arrive in 2018 to replace the ix35 FCEV.
Hyundai seem to be keen to differentiate the FE and its hydrogen fuel cell powertrain by its design, just as they have with the electrified Ioniq range, a route we understand but one we think counterproductive; surely conservative buyers warm to new technology more easily if it feels familiar?
But a new look and a new hydrogen SUV is what Hyundai are doing, and we expect it to arrive – perhaps as a Santa Fe without the Santa as this concept predicts – in 2018.
When it does arrive, it won’t be much cheaper (Hyundai’s ix35 FCEV is at least twice as costly to buy – and probably a loss maker – than the ICE ix35s), but it will be more practical and efficient, with a fuel stack that’s 20 per cent lighter, has 30 per cent greater power density and offers a range of around 500 miles.
It’s good to see Hyundai keeping faith with the hydrogen fuel cell, despite a proper major push in to BEVs and hybrids with the Ioniq.