Hyundai has given us a preview of their upcoming fuel cell vehicle with the FE Fuel Cell Concept. The FE – for Future Eco – has new cell technology that improves on the current Tucson fuel cell SUV, giving better cell performance and longer range.
The design of the FE is pure concept car, with giant wheels, no mirrors, and tiny lights, so very smooth and futuristic looking overall. Hyundai says that the design is inspired by water, because water is “the car’s only emission.” The clean design is supposed to emphasize that the car itself will be clean. The climate control system takes water from the exhaust and uses it to humidify the cabin air. Hyundai says it is to make the cabin more comfortable, but it helps emphasize the zero-emission fuel cell. Inside, the bright blue cabin makes it look like you’re underwater. The interior is simple, with clean touchscreens for the instruments and controls, and few buttons, switches, or other lines breaking up the dash.
An interesting concept feature is portable batteries. The car will use extra fuel cell power to charge battery packs that you can use to power devices like your phone. In the cargo area, Hyundai has integrated a storage space and charger for an electric scooter to help improve mobility, especially in urban areas.
This is Hyundai’s fourth generation fuel cell, and they say it is 20 percent lighter, 10 percent more efficient, but also has 30 percent better power density. That new fuel cell technology means that the FE Concept can run for more than 800 km before needing to be refuelled. The long range is a plus for buyers who want environmentally friendly cars but have EV range anxiety, and it’s also an acknowledgment that hydrogen filling stations are still a long way from being commonplace. Hyundai is working on that as well, as members of The Hydrogen Council working to promote the clean fuel.
Hyundai says that this concept will influence the design of their production fuel cell SUV that is scheduled for a 2018 launch.
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