Although the news hasn’t been focused on hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles for some time, a few auto manufacturers are still committed to producing vehicles that run more efficiently and use much less energy than traditional cars. Hyundai is one of those companies and they recently debuted their new ix35 fuel cell powered vehicle in Europe. While the initial production is set to be small, only around 1,000 units, the company is committed to producing more and continues to improve on the technology that powers these clean vehicles.
“Hyundai Motor is committed to hydrogen as the fuel of the future for Europe,” stated Hyundai Motor Europe president Byung Kwon Rhim. “The fuel cell station infrastructure in the US still needs the government’s financial support. Infrastructure development in the US has been slow, thereby limiting any potential demand. Currently Hyundai is investigating potential demand for the Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle in the US market, particularly in California, where most of the H2 refueling infrastructure development has taken place. H2 infrastructure in various regions still limits potential sales, thus large scale production will be tempered until the infrastructure catches up with technology development.”
This new vehicle from Hyundai will be marketed in the United States as the Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle but it is not yet known as to whether the vehicle will be available to the general public, or will be marketed as a fleet vehicle for eco-conscious companies. As the technology improves for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, consumers are apt to begin embracing these vehicles, particularly when they see just how much they can save by going green. Negative stigmas surrounding this technology, including the belief that they simply don’t have the power for regular everyday driving can be surmounted, particularly as engineers focus on improving these points.
The push to have fully efficient vehicles over the next several decades is great news for engineers. More qualified people are needed to promote this research and improve upon it. With time and innovation, the potential to completely replace gas fueled vehicles is there. Engineering students interested in the automotive field should be pleased at the amount of jobs available in this sector, particularly overseas. Undoubtedly, more American manufacturers will follow Hyundai’s suit and start focusing on creating hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles in greater numbers.
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