Hyundai Motor Co.'s fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) program took a major step forward on April 9 with the North American announcement of its second-generation fuel cell vehicle — the Tucson FCEV. A replica Tucson FCEV display vehicle, which made its world debut at the 2004 Geneva Auto Show, will be shown at the New York International Auto Show. Code-named FJM by its developers, the Tucson FCEV will have an extended driving range plus cold weather starting capability. It will incorporate numerous technical advances including a higher output fuel cell and a new lithium ion polymer battery. "Migrating our fuel cell program to a smaller, more compact platform poses numerous challenges but we're confident we can meet them all," said Kim Sang-Kwon, president of research and development for Hyundai/Kia Motors. Built with lightweight aluminum body components, the Tucson FCEV has a power-to-weight ratio similar to that of a conventional SUV. It also features low noise levels plus a roomy cabin that offers the same level of comfort and convenience as its gasoline-powered sibling. Unlike the Santa Fe FCEV, the Tucson Fuel Cell program has been running on a parallel path with the conventional Tucson providing fully digitized engineering data from the earliest stages. The Tucson FCEV's power plant has been relocated under the front hood, unlike its predecessor, which featured an under-floor installation. In addition, the Tucson FCEV will be capable of starting and operating in sub- zero temperatures. Marginally lighter than its predecessor, the Tucson FCEV also gets five more kW of power for a peak output of 80kW. Its maximum speed is rated at 150km/h (93 mph) compared to the Santa Fe's 124km/h (77 mph).

Originally posted on Fleet Financials