Hyundai Motor will mass produce hydrogen fuel cell cars from the end of this month up to 2015, the company said on Tuesday.
The indigenously developed Tucson ix is the car of the hour, and up to 1,000 of these fuel cell-powered vehicles will soon become available to mark the world’s first mass production for this category of car, according to the Seoul-based company.
“We hope to more quickly usher in a truly environmentally friendly era with our unprecedented mass production of fuel cell cars,” said Kim Eok-jo, the group’s vice chairman. “We will continue to work to become a vanguard in the field of environmentally friendly technology and production.”
Hyundai Motor manufactures the Tucson ix in Ulsan, where it operates a plant devoted exclusively to building fuel cell cars.
The mass production comes up to two years earlier than global rivals such as Mercedes-Benz, GM and Toyota, which have plans to start after 2015, Hyundai officials said.
Hyundai’s Tucson ix, first revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010, will begin mass production toward the end of this month to start offering test supplies.
Up to 15 units will be provided to Denmark, while another two will be supplied to neighboring Sweden.
Europe is considered one of the top markets for fuel cell-powered cars due to its emphasis on eco-friendly vehicles.
The Tucson ix, built with homegrown Hyundai technology, can run for up to 594 kilometers on a single tank. Its fuel efficiency is measured at 27.8 kilometers per liter in terms of gasoline, which is in line with the New European Driving Cycle.
Hyundai began to develop fuel cell-powered vehicles in 1998, and in November 2000 unveiled its first fuel cell car, the Santa Fe. In 2006, it locally developed the Tucson fuel cell car, a precursor to the Tucson ix.
By Kim Ji-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org