When you’re looking to pick up a pick-up truck, you look at horsepower and torque. When you want an SUV, you’ll probably consider passenger space and luxury features. For a sedan, it’s usually all about mileage and comfort.
But when you turn to an electric vehicle, there’s one factor that looms large: range.
Speed and luxury are one thing, but the hurdle for electric vehicles has always been the nagging idea of getting stuck with a flat battery, so it should come as no surprise to learn that extending the range of their models has been a top priority for manufacturers.
Hyundai are taking the next stride forward. Just shown in Seoul was an all-new fuel cell electric SUV that should be capable of 497 miles from just one fill. To put that in perspective, it would grant you the ability to drive from Brighton to Edinburgh without worrying about topping up.
The model is yet to be named, but we do know that it will be using fourth-generation fuel cell technology to produce up to 161bhp. That’s 20% better than the ix35 Fuel Cell it will be replacing, and Hyundai are claiming that the new drivetrain will boast an efficiency level of 60%, which marks a 9% increase on its predecessor. Cold start capabilities have reportedly been improved significantly, with the minimum operating temperature down to -30 degrees. Three tanks will feed the powertrain instead of two, and new plastic liner patterns save weight while reducing the consumption of raw materials.
Hyundai are clearly attempting to fan the flames of anticipation prior to the official unveiling set for January of next year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, so there’s very little else we know. From slim headlights to smooth dashboard, the design language is clearly based on that of the FE Concept we saw at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, and Hyundai have hinted that the release of the new electric SUV will also showcase their latest autonomous technology.
And this seems to be just the next step in Hyundai’s bid to corner the non-gas market. They already became the first car maker in the world to launch a new model with three electrified powertrains when the Ioniq arrived this year with hybrid, electric, and plug-in hybrid forms, and the next confirmed model will be an electric version of the popular Kona. They even have luxury arm Genesis launching its own electric vehicle in 2021.