Hyundai is preparing to announce some a big plans involving hydrogen. While many are skeptical about its viability as a form of fuel, the Hyundai Group seems bullish enough on the element that it’s positioning it as the Hydrogen Wave. What’s most intriguing to us, though, is that video teasers regarding the push tease what appears to be a hydrogen-powered sports car.
The video shows a camouflaged car painting black lines as it drifts around a track. While the action shots are likely CG, the car has production-ready proportions. It’s movement indicates that it’s rear-wheel-drive, though the hood length, slope and overhang seem to indicate a transversely mounted engine. That is, it would indicate that if it had an ICE, but with hydrogen power the packaging could be entirely different.
It’s also hard to tell if the car has two or four doors. We haven’t heard anything about Hyundai working on a coupe, but this car doesn’t seem to match up with anything in the Hyundai (or Kia or Genesis) portfolio.
Another video shows glimpses of Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell trucks. We’ve seen these Xcient trucks in all their glory already, as the freight haulers have been testing in Switzerland and California. Due to hydrogen’s quick refueling time, fuel cells make sense for long-haul trucks that can’t afford a lot of downtime for battery charging.
A third video is perhaps the most ambitious. “Charge hydrogen. Wherever you are,” it says, as it shows a fuel door opening over many locations — a beach, a city, even a suburban home. “Hydrogen is on its way to the world,” the text reads. In the U.S. at least, hydrogen filling stations are still few and far between in California, and almost nonexistent in many parts of the country.
If Hyundai is truly saying hydrogen will be as readily available as the video implies, we’re all ears. For now, it certainly seems like still has a long way to go before it’s ready for prime time. In the U.S., the way we manufacture it — via natural gas — is far from clean.
Hydrogen’s other main advocate in the automotive realm, Toyota, has taken a lot of flak for stubbornly going down the H road while lagging on BEVs. It’s even researched hydrogen fuel in internal combustion engines on an experimental race car.
Hyundai, on the other hand, appears to be taking a two-pronged approach. It’s released cars like the Kona EV and Kia Niro EV, and has a slew of EV models coming down the pipe. Meanwhile, it’s still putting R&D dollars into cars like hydrogen fuel cell cars the Nexo and the vehicles coming in the Hydrogen Wave symposium. Whatever it is, we’ll know more on September 7.