All Weather Fuel Cell Vehicle In The Works
Hyundai Motor Co. of Seoul, Korea, and UTC Fuel Cells of Hartford, have signed an agreement to jointly develop a new automotive fuel cell capable of operating in freezing conditions, one of the remaining hurdles in the development of fuel cells for automobiles.
The agreement calls for Hyundai and UTC Fuel Cells to work jointly to develop a freeze-capable fuel cell power plant and integrate it into a Hyundai sport utility vehicle platform.
Hyundai expects to place fuel cell vehicles into fleet applications beginning as early as 2004, with limited consumer availability planned for 2010.
Fuel cell power plants, which combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity without environmentally harmful emissions, produce and consume water. One key challenge in developing fuel cells for transportation applications is starting fuel cells after the water in a system has frozen.
“Hyundai is dedicated to developing commercially viable, zero-emission vehicles and our agreement with UTC Fuel Cells brings us one step closer to our goal,” said Dong Jin Kim, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company. “By 2004, Hyundai will be testing and evaluating the performance of fuel cell vehicles in fleet applications, allowing us to further refine the application of fuel cells for everyday transportation.”
“Our work with Hyundai since 2000 has achieved tremendous results in demonstrating the viability of fuel cell vehicles and specifically the performance of UTC Fuel Cells’ proprietary fuel cell design,” said Jan van Dokkum, president of UTC Power.
UTC Fuel Cells and Hyundai have worked together on fuel cell vehicle development since 2000, when the companies unveiled the first Hyundai Santa Fe fuel cell SUV at the California Fuel Cell Partnership opening ceremonies. A total of six Hyundai fuel cell Santa Fe prototypes were produced under the previous agreement.
A Hyundai Santa Fe, powered by a UTC fuel cell, scored best in class in efficiency and noise at the 2001 Michelin Challenge Bibendum, an annual event where new automotive technologies are evaluated by independent judges.
Provided by theEnvironmental News Service.