Hyundai looks to build a >300-mile-range electric car Hyundai looks to build a >300-mile-range electric car Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

Hyundai looks to build a >300-mile-range electric car

More carmakers are looking toward electric vehicles as fuel cell falters

 

On Thursday, Hyundai said that it intends to produce a long-range electric vehicle by 2021 that will be capable of traveling 310 miles on a charge. That vehicle, a luxury Genesis sedan, will follow an electric version of the Kona sport utility vehicle that the Korean automaker hopes to release in the first half of next year. The electric Kona should have a range of 243 miles, Reuters noted.

Along with affiliate company Kia, Hyundai announced eight electric cars and two fuel-cell vehicles coming to market in the near future—a significant jump in the number of electric vehicles (EVs) that the company has planned to bring to market in years prior. Hyundai, like Toyota, has boosted the fuel cell vehicle for years. Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen as fuel and emit water as a byproduct. But the compressed hydrogen that runs fuel cell vehicles is hard to store and hard to transport, so it has been slow reaching the market, although fuel cell vehicles do have the advantage of being fast to refuel, unlike electric vehicle batteries.

Toyota has also recently shown signs that it’s pouring more resources into mass-producing a long-range electric car as well. In July, an article in The Wall Street Journal noted that the Japanese automaker was working on building a battery with a solid electrolyte that would go into production in 2022. With Tesla and Chevrolet rolling out moderately priced EVs with long-range capabilities, other automakers known for moderately priced cars seem to be ready to get in the ring as well.

Hyundai also told Reuters that it’s developing its first electric vehicle platform—a step toward quickly building multiple electric models in the future.

The automaker also showed off a “near-production” version of a new fuel cell SUV that can travel 360 miles on a full tank. Still, lack of infrastructure is a major problem for fuel cell vehicles that aren’t use-specific (like forklifts in Amazon warehouses). “Hyundai will achieve economies of scale for fuel cell cars by 2035 at the earliest,” Lee Hang-koo, a senior research fellow at Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade, told Reuters.

Electric vehicles, on the other hand, are quickly gaining critical infrastructure around the world, although they’re hardly well-served. In June, the International Energy Agency reported that a record two million electric vehicles are on roads around the world.

 

 

Shared from: Ars Technica

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