It was only a few days ago when Korea Economic Daily reported on Hyundai’s as yet unconfirmed decision to shut down its combustion engine R&D center. Fast forward to today, we hear a somewhat similar report regarding hydrogen research. According to The Chosun Ilbo, research projects for a stack of third generation fuel cells were abruptly halted.
If this is true, the decision is surprising since the company Hydrogen Vision 2040 was presented just a few months ago. It is believed that a recent internal audit found that the South Korean brand is unable to meet the original goal of reducing production costs. Apparently, the Genesis hydrogen car had been in development for over a year and was due to come to fruition in 2025.
It should be noted The Chosun Ilbo Hyundai has not completely abandoned the project, but the situation is not looking good either. Besides the technical problems, other obstacles are represented by the lack of market value and the underdeveloped recharging infrastructure. Sources familiar with the matter quoted by the Korean daily say the decision was taken last month after an internal review of the project. The fuel cell division has already been reorganized and the R&D team is now “greatly reduced”.
As you may remember, the FK concept unveiled in September served as a window into the Hyundai Motor Group’s hydrogen future. Likely a two-door test mule loosely based on the Kia Stinger Judging by its looks, the sports car was touted as having over 671 horsepower (500 kilowatts) for a 0-62 mph (100 km) run. / h) in less than four seconds.
The rear-drive FK had a centrally mounted hydrogen fuel cell and enough juice for over 600 kilometers of range. Interestingly, the FK was labeled as a plug-in hybrid equipped with a fuel cell power converter. In other words, the hydrogen fuel cell was designed to charge a fairly large battery mounted inside the axles. Suffice it to say the FK was a lot more interesting than the Nexo crossover.