It’s no secret that Hyundai has plans for hydrogen-powered vehicles beyond the currently available Tucson Fuel Cell. Ever since the debut of the Intrado concept at the Geneva Motor Show in early 2014, Hyundai has been dropping hints about what the new big-ish H2 vehicle will offer.
We say “big-ish” because Hyundai Motor Group’s director of eco-vehicle development, Ahn Byung-ki, told Automotive News that the next-gen hydrogen powertrain will find a home in a “totally new” model that will be “somewhere between a CUV and SUV.” So, whatever fancy new automotive segment that phrase happens to define – MUV, for middleweight utility vehicle? – is what Hyundai’s new hydrogen offering will be.
Under the hood, the upcoming vehicle will use a fuel cell that doesn’t need as much platinum and will have a bigger battery and a smaller motor. We had originally heard that this new hydrogen CUV/SUV would arrive in 2020, but Ahn said that the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea will be “a big event. That’s always a good opportunity for PR.”
With the Intrado concept, Hyundai said it was, “far more than a styling exercise.” We’ve since heard that Hyundai believes that a CUV/SUV model offers the best option for customers buying a fuel cell vehicle. Earlier this year, Hyundai’s head of the company’s fuel cell research, Sae-Hoon Kim, said that, “all customer feedback says range and boot space are the priorities.” The Intrado concept had a supposed range of around 375 miles. What that would translate to outside of the fictional auto show universe is unknown, but it sounds like Hyundai is ready to make all of this more real.