The South Korean sister automakers Hyundai and Kia looked ready to divide their eco-conscious efforts: the bigger Hyundai would spend more money towards developing fuel cell vehicles and the smaller Kia would devote its attention to the more mainstream battery electric vehicles.
But lines are getting blurred nowadays as Hyundai looks to build hybrids to fight back against the iconic Toyota Prius and Kia has announced its strategy that includes the addition of its own fuel-cell vehicle in 2020. The news is an integral part of the company’s global new five-year plan, with the hydrogen-powered model aimed towards mass market production and employing the next-generation hydrogen fuel stack technology. Kia detailed a little the green initiative, explaining the new fuel stack will make use of the same allocated space of a 2.0-liter internal combustion engine and will come with a “high level of durability and power density.” Further details were kept under wraps, though engineers confirmed the aim is to have the fuel-cell stack at least 5 percent more efficient and 10 percent more powerful and the current generation technology – while also being 15 percent lighter and 15 percent down in terms of volume usage.
Kia has also revealed it was mulling a range of more than 800 km (497 miles) and comparable performances to regular petrol models – including a maximum speed of around 170 km/h (105 mph). The company added it has tapped 300 different partners to speed up the research and development of the FCV and also promised “high quality” as well as global availability.