South Korean automaker Hyundai to launch long-range premium electric vehicle

Ex BMW M engineer Albert Biermann is helping tune the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe's handling

If you are not a fan of quirky designs, then the upcoming pickup truck from Hyundai may not be the ideal choice for you. With the updated fuel cell system, the SUV should achieve a driving range of more than 580 km (360 miles) on a single charge, based on Korean testing standards. The new, as-of-yet unnamed SUV is based off the FE Fuel Cell Concept Hyundai showed at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, and even though it lacks a moniker, enough details were revealed to pique my interest.

"With exceptional efficiency, serene styling, and uncompromised performance, our next-generation fuel-cell SUV is the true epitome of an eco-friendly vehicle of the future", said Lee Ki-sang, senior vice-president of Hyundai's eco-technology center.

Hyundai has announced plans to rapidly roll out new all-electric models as the giant Korean vehicle maker looks to explore new tech in the pursuit of more stable profits. The new SUV also improves tank storage density, now that there are three equally-sized tanks instead of two different sizes. That would be a jump from just 121 fuel cell cars in 2016. This SUV will inspire a yet-to-be-named model which will be shown at the 2018 CES event in January.

South Korea plans to increase the number of hydrogen fuelling stations from 16 stations this year to 100 stations by 2020 to sharply raise sales of fuel cell vehicles. Hyundai is also considering whether or not to bring the model to China.

After 2021, the company plans to introduce electric vehicle with a power reserve of 500 km.

This follows what was announced last spring, when Hyundai said to be working on a fully electric vehicle that would boast a driving range of 500 kilometres, and that would be introduced as a Genesis model by 2021.

A fuel cell electric bus is slated to be unveiled late this year, while a sedan-type fuel cell auto is also planned. Hyundai says it's also committed to hybrids in addition to electric and fuel cell technology.

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