ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Hyundai announced that it has signed an
agreement with International Fuel Cells (IFC), a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.,
to incorporate IFC's fuel cell power plant in its Sport Utility Vehicle demonstrator
"We expect to
unveil the preliminary results of this collaborative agreement by the end of the first
quarter of next year," said Dr. Young-Woo Kim, President of Hyundai America Technical
Center. "We will remove the internal
combustion engine from our new Santa Fe sport utility vehicle (SUV) and replace it with a
fuel cell system from International Fuel Cells."
agreement calls for development of two of the prototype Santa Fe fuel cell SUVs. The agreement may be extended to produce an
additional two vehicles. All will be used to
demonstrate the technology and for testing in real world driving situations.
fuel cell system developed by IFC will use hydrogen as its fuel, thereby eliminating the
emissions that cause air pollution and smog. The only emission from the vehicle will be
water vapor. "We expect performance of the fuel cell Santa Fe to exceed that of our
standard model," Dr. Kim said, "making this Santa Fe the first high performance
fuel cell SUV."
The IFC system
will have a greater power density than fuel cell systems that have been tested in cars in
the past. That means the system will have
greater power in a smaller package. In addition, it will have substantially greater
efficiency because it uses a near ambient pressure system.
eliminating the high pressure requirements of other fuel cells, IFC has created a system
that is much simpler. Eventually, that will
translate into lower costs for the consumer," Dr. Kim said.
A fuel cell uses
an electrochemical process to directly convert the chemical energy found in hydrogen into
electricity and hot water. Because the fuel cell does not burn its fuel, it eliminates
polluting air emissions. Fuel cells have been identified by the automotive industry as the
most likely new technology to replace the internal combustion engine.
The fuel cell
system to be used in the Santa Fe SUV will contain a single "stack" of fuel
cells. It will use a conventional automobile
battery for start-up. Enova Systems of
Torrance, CA, a major developer of Electric and Hybrid drive trains for Hyundai Motor
Company will supply the electric drive train and power management systems for the