Hyundai unveiled the third generation of its Tucson ix FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) during Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy conference, held in February, 2011, by the National Hydrogen Association in Washington DC. Currently the auto producer plans to test about 50 hydrogen-powered cars. This testing is a part of the second stage of the Validation Program, issued by Korean Government. The examination will be finalized till the end of the current year. The limited number of the latest green Tucsons is expected in 2012. The mass production of the revealed vehicle is scheduled in 2015.
After several years of testing, we have identified ways to maximize fuel efficiency without compromising driving experience and powertrain range. We hope to continue this momentum in finding ways to better fuel cell technology and performance, said Dr. Tae Won Lim, managing director of Hyundais fuel cell vehicle group.
Compared to the previous generation, the new Hyundai ix FCEV is equipped with a 21 kW battery, while its predecessor came with a 100 kW supercapacitor. This replacement may be considered as one step back. However, the ix model features significant improvement in fuel efficiency. The Tucson ix FCEV achieves 72 mpg. The South Korean automaker claims the new hydrogen version is designed to start at minus 25 degrees Celsius. A single fueling is enough for the vehicle to travel 403 miles without any additional charging. This is one of the main changes towards its predecessor. The previous version can travel only 230 miles under the same condition. The max speed of 100 mph remains unchanged.