Hyundai Vision FK Showcases the Company's Goals for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells

Hyundai Vision FK Concept 15 photos
Photo: Hyundai
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Hyundai recently presented one impressive EV, the Ioniq 5. It offers fast charging capabilities similar to those of the Porsche Taycan for half the price. That does not mean the company is entirely betting on electric cars; on the contrary. Hyundai disclosed its Hydrogen Vision 2040 strategic plan for a hydrogen society. One of the vehicles it presented to get there was the Vision FK concept, a sports car with over 500 kW (671 hp) powered by fuel cells.
To be precise, the FK would be a plug-in hybrid, powered both by batteries and fuel cells. In other words, it would allow its owner to charge at home for commuting and to fill its tanks with hydrogen for longer trips. According to Hyundai, it could go from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 4 seconds and would have more than 600 kilometers (373 miles) of range. The company did not disclose its range using only the energy stored in the battery pack.

In the video that presents it, we can see the Vision FK would have Rimac components, such as what seems to be the battery pack. It also has two big hydrogen tanks placed above the rear motor that powers the car. The fuel cell is located over the front axle and under the bonnet (if the Vision FK has one). The motor seems to be sourced by Rimac as well.

We have no idea if Hyundai is planning to put the Vision FK into production, but the disguise makes it really suspicious. A mere concept would not have to conceal any of its lines. On the other hand, a prototype would better hide its appearance to prevent copycats. We compared it to the spy pictures of the Ioniq 6 and they are not the same car, which does not mean it is not a smaller EV for the future. Ioniq 4, anyone?

The concept is just one of the solutions Hyundai presented at the Hydrogen Wave presentation. It also showed the Trailer Drone, composed of two Fuel Cell e-Bogies. It would have a range of 1,000 km (621 mi). The carmaker also introduced the Rescue Drone, the H Moving Station, and the RHGV (Rescue Hydrogen Generator Vehicle).

Apart from the vehicles, Hyundai also said its third-generation fuel cells would be more than 50% cheaper than the current ones. Other improvements include total package volume reduction by 30% and doubling the power output. The new fuel cells will be presented in 2023 in 100 kW and 200 kW variations.

That would be just the beginning. By 2028, all Hyundai commercial vehicles would have the option of fuel cell systems. By 2030, the company expects FCEVs to have price parity with electric cars. Considering that price parity between EVs and combustion-engined vehicles is likely to happen by 2025 (if not earlier), that’s a bold goal.

Transportation would be just one aspect of the hydrogen society Hyundai envisions. The plan is to apply fuel cell systems to “homes, buildings, and powerplants.” That would allow Hyundai to make hydrogen feasible for “everyone, everything and everywhere” by 2040. If that helps decarbonize the economy and stop climate change, that’s fantastic.

What Hyundai forgot to mention was who will offer the hydrogen for its cars and everything else. Before a hydrogen refueling network is established anywhere, all promises involving fuel cells are likely to remain as such. Unless Hyundai knows something that we don’t, the perspectives for hydrogen are not very bright. In this case, it would be good news if we were missing something.

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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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