Kia is hoping to become one of the leading fuel cell electric vehicle makers by 2015. Time lines have been vague, as they only mentioned that sales will start somewhere between 2010 and 2012. But when it kicks off, they are looking at a production figure of 1,000 to 2,000 vehicles a year, eventually reaching their goal of 10,000 vehicles on the road by 2015. Kia, which along with parent company Hyundai have been working on fuel cell tech since 2000, will initially offer the FCEVs to government bodies and research institutions.
The company’s Borrego FCEV prototype reaches 100 km/h in 12 seconds and has a top speed of 170 km/h. The SUV is capable of covering 600 km before needing to refuel. Power delivery is slightly different in Kia’s fuel cell stack, as it delivers electricity directly to the electric motor via a supercapacitor. Unlike the usual battery system, this application allows for a quicker response time.
What about the expected high price of such a car? Kia feels they have remedied the issue by producing a vehicle that will have a 10-year life expectancy along with reducing the component cost of the car by 95%.
Do you think that hydrogen fuel cell is the future of motoring?