Hyundai Motor Co. is now trying to catch up to their competitors in the electric and fuel cell segments.
As the first automaker to bring fuel-cell vehicles to the market on a massive scale, Hyundai is trying to get back into the race with a new hydrogen-powered SUV. A similar situation can be seen when it comes to electric vehicles with Tesla at the helm, so Hyundai is developing its first electric dedicated architecture.
At the ongoing 2017 Seoul auto show, Hyundai’s FE Fuel Cell concept vehicle was showcased and it is expected to travel more than 800 kilometers (around 500 miles) on a single tank of fuel. Back when the automaker first commercialized fuel cell vehicles, the hydrogen-charging infrastructure just wasn’t up to the challenge and their vehicles were priced too high overseas.
Toyota has since overtaken their Korean rival in sales and now Hyundai wants to reclaim their leadership in the segment. We should see the fuel cell model at next year’s Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.
On the electric front, Hyundai really doesn’t have a choice but to develop a separate electric-vehicle platform. With the United States, Europe and China pushing for increasingly fuel efficient cars from automakers, Hyundai will have to evolve with the trend or risk getting left behind in the segment.
Ko Tae-bong, an analyst at Hi Investment & Securities, said the “separate platform may incur losses initially, but Hyundai will be left behind the market if they don't offer long-distance models, like 300 km, 500 km and 600 km.”
With Hyundai working to advance in the fuel cell and EV segments, who knows when they’ll get around to producing the Santa Cruze.