Browse Publications Technical Papers 2010-01-1089
2010-04-12

Recent Advances in the Development of Hyundai · Kia's Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles 2010-01-1089

Wide attention to fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) comes from two huge issues currently the world is facing with: the concern of the petroleum reserves depletion due to consequent oil dependence and the earth global warming due in some extent to vehicle emissions. In this background, Hyundai, along with its sister company Kia, has been building the FCEVs and operating their test fleet with several tens of units at home and abroad. Since 2004, 32 passenger vehicles have been offered for the Department of Energy's controlled hydrogen fleet and infrastructure demonstration and validation project in the U.S. In the meantime, from 2006, 30 passenger vehicles as well as four buses, featuring the in-house developed fuel cell stack and its associated components, are currently under the domestic operation for the FCEV learning demonstration led by the Ministry of Knowledge and Economy. Based on such opportunities for developing and demonstrating FCEVs, a great deal of technical progress has been made in many fields, resulting in the performance comparable to the conventional vehicles. The Hyundai Tucson FCEV is powered by the in-house-developed 100 kW-fuel cell stack, offering a ultra-high fuel economy of 72 mpg city and a rapid cold-start and drive capability taking on the order of ten seconds at sub-zero temperatures as low as -20°C. Meanwhile, the Kia Borrego FCEV is equipped with the outsized 115 kW-fuel cell stack fueled with the hydrogen compressed at 700 bar, giving a practical range of over 450 miles which has been demonstrated by the single-fueling cruising from San Francisco to Los Angeles in California by virtue of a best-in-class system efficiency of 62 percent and an onboard hydrogen storage of 7.9 kg. This paper updates the recent advances in the Hyundai⋅Kia's FCEV research and development, especially focusing on the advance of the vehicle performances: cruising range and cold start and drive capability.

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