Kia confirms commitment to hydrogen

Kia-Pop2 Kia has reiterated its plan to have a commercial available hydrogen fuel cell (FCEV) vehicle available commercially by the middle of the decade.

Towards the end of 2010, Kia was one of seven manufacturers to sign an accord which will make hydrogen-powered vehicles a production reality.

And while Kia isn’t discounting battery power as a zero emission power source to urban vehicles, the Korean carmaker believes hydrogen is the ultimate solution to long distance emission free driving. The Pop concept city car shown off at the Paris Motor Show in 2010 shows were Kia are heading with a 100% electric car.

Kia actually developed its first FCEV back in 2003, based on the Sportage, and has now advanced the technology close to the production-ready stage in the Borrego, a large SUV. The Borrego can cover more than 500 miles on a tank of hydrogen, and manages the equivalent of 54mpg.

In the meantime, Kia is also progressing its hybrid plans, with the Optima Hybrid saloon already in the USA and Korea. Its powertrain uses a combination of a 2.4-litre petrol engine and a 30kW electric motor with a lithium-ion polymer battery.

Seemingly in an attempt to cover every base, Kia has have a LPG/battery hybrid in Korea.

Kia has not yet decided which model in its range will be the first to go on sale with a hydrogen fuel cell, but it has committed to start building limited numbers of FCEVs and aims to have them commercially available by 2015.

The Green Car Website