Hyundai America’s CEO Dave Zuchowski confirmed that the South Korean automotive company would be releasing four electric vehicles by 2020, along with five hybrids, four plug-in hybrids, and one fuel cell vehicle.
Hyundai’s fuel cell hydrogen technology
Compared to companies like BMW and Nissan, Hyundai is significantly late to the electric vehicle game. The South Korean car giant is just now developing and releasing a model equivalent to the last generation of EVs: the Hyundai IONIQ.
Hyundai, similar to Toyota, was one of the companies who saw fuel cell hydrogen technology as the future – the future of zero-emission cars. Essentially, fuel cell technology takes advantage of the chemical reaction of positively charged hydrogen ions with another agent through which a fuel is converted into electricity. Obviously, this type of EV wouldn’t require charging stations and in theory, is the ideal alternative in the long-run.
However, as evinced by Toyota and Honda’s exit from this market once thought to be the future, hydrogen fuel cell technology is just not quite there yet. It’d take an enormous amount of time, resources, and money to develop a truly viable version of the technology, and these manufacturers figured they should join in on the battery EV game for now. And Hyundai is no exception.
What will Hyundai bring by 2020?
That’s why the company is shifting its focus to battery powered EVs. According to the CEO of the American division of the company, the company is looking to release five hybrids, four plug-in hybrids, four electric vehicles, and one fuel cell vehicle by 2020.
The company is said to be focusing on creating alternative fuel cars that will answer some of the most difficult challenges of electric vehicles, ranging from cost to battery range and performance. With the IONIQ set to arrive in the US in the near future, I’m excited to see what other offerings are in the works. If they look anything like the IONIQ, I think Hyundai may have a chance at competing against the likes of the Nissan Leaf or the BMW i3.