Hyundai says it will provide its Kia brand a fuel cell vehicle within three years. At least, that’s what Lee Ki-sang, senior vice president of the Eco Technology Center at Hyundai Group has told Automotive News.
Ki-sang says there are primarily two reasons Hyundai will not launch a fuel cell vehicle simultaneously under the Hyundai and Kia brands. The first reason being that his group doesn’t have the resources to test and validate two fuel cell vehicles at the same time. The second reason being an obvious one: Hyundai is more upmarket than Kia and will be able to command higher sticker prices for the new technology. Once Kia gets its, pricing will hopefully be lower and allow for a more Kia-appropriate price point.
One the Hyundai side of the house, the brand will launch its first mass-market hydrogen powered vehicle next year with the new Tuscan. The company has been selling a hydrogen powered Tuscan since 2013, albeit in very small volumes.
The new Tuscan will be one of 28 vehicles Hyundai Group plans to launch between now and 2020 as part of an eco initiative. The plan includes 10 hybrids, eight plug-in vehicles and the two stated fuel cell vehicles. To date 17 of the 28 planned vehicles have not yet hit the market.
Ki-sang went on to say that the Hyundai and Kia teams are competing for new technologies internally. Who knows if this will shift who gets what in terms of Hyundai’s alternative fuel plans.