Hyundai’s not putting all of its eggs in one electric vehicle basket, as the Korean company revealed its ambitions to popularize hydrogen fuel and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by the year 2040. While Hyundai’s plans to achieve this goal include wild concepts such as an autonomous tractor-trailer capable of traveling more than 600 miles between fuel stops, an autonomous off-road-ready rescue vehicle (dubbed RHGV) that’s designed to provide power to vehicles in need of emergency assistance in remote areas, and an autonomous flying rescue vehicle made for fighting fires and extricating lost or injured individuals, it also trotted out a number of vehicles that strike us as more grounded in reality, such as a mobile hydrogen station and, our favorite, the Vision FK concept.
With an appearance like that of a mid-engined Kia Stinger in camouflage, the Vision FK’s hydrogen-fueled hybrid powertrain produces approximately 671 hp, per Hyundai. Pin the accelerator and the rear-wheel-drive Vision FK rockets to 62 mph in less than 4.0 seconds, according to the manufacturer.
It’s not a plug-in hybrid as we know it today. The dual electric motors and battery pack are co-developed with Rimac, and the Vision FK’s powertrain can be plugged into the wall to fill up the battery for a certain amount of battery-only range. (Hyundai owns a stake in Rimac.) Exceed that figure and the hydrogen fuel cell kicks on, providing juice courtesy of a pair of onboard hydrogen tanks and a fuel cell stack. It’s also capable of traveling more than 370 miles between fill-ups (or electric top-ups). If this is the future of hydrogen cars, then we’re very much here for it.
Although Hyundai’s keeping additional details about the Vision FK closer to its proverbial chest, the reality of such a vehicle hitting the streets by 2040 strikes us as reasonable, given the company’s experience with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles such as the Nexo. It seems the biggest barrier to the Vision FK’s entry into the U.S.-market is our country’s very limited hydrogen infrastructure. Then again, things may change in the 18 years until 2040 if hydrogen gains momentum domestically.
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