Hyundai to Launch First BEV in 2016


Hyundai Tuscon Fuel Cell

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell

Hyundai’s Tucson fuel cell vehicle may be short-lived if the automaker’s first foray into BEVs turns out to be successful

Hyundai's Partner Kia Already Has an EV - It's the Soul EV and It'll Enter Production Next Month

Hyundai’s Partner Kia Already Has an EV – It’s the Soul EV and It’ll Enter Production Next Month

Hyundai has announced that it will begin selling its first BEV in 2016 as it “hedges its bets in next-generation green technology,” report Reuters.

Hyundai is South Korea’s fuel-cell leader, but even at that the automaker seems unconvinced that hydrogen is the future.  As Hyundai’s senior vice president Lee Ki-sang stated:

“There is no clear direction about which eco-friendly cars will win. We are dividing roles of Hyundai and Kia, with Hyundai launching fuel cell cars and Kia focusing on electric cars.”

“But the time will come when Kia will introduce a fuel-cell car. Hyundai is also preparing to launch a electric car in 2016.”

This seems to imply that Hyundai-Kia has no clue which type of technology will win, but will be prepared with both moving forward.

At least Hyundai isn’t taking the approach of fuel-cell vehicles only.  We all know which of the two technologies will rise to the top and Hyundai seems to understand that it needs a BEV to future-proof itself.

Source: Reuters

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20 Comments on "Hyundai to Launch First BEV in 2016"

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The title said, “BEV”, so I was excited. But the article describes a Fuel Cell Vehicle. 🙁

‘We all know which of the two technologies will rise to the top’

Who is the ‘we?’

You had better write to Toyota, Hyundai, Mercedes and others and tell then that their several hundred scientists have got it all wrong!

Its amazing how much is known on blogs, and without benefit of the advanced degrees in chemistry and so on that those useless scientists have!



Mercedes B Class is rolling out. As they gain more practical experience building, selling and maintaining BEVs, they will start looking at their FC efforts as losses to be trimmed.

Just because a scientist in the lab can demonstrate something, there is no substitute for practical engineering, manufacturing and infrastructure development. Sorry but that FCEV dog just don’t hunt…

A great comparison that explains the Fuel Cell Delusion is the work being done on Fusion Power. Billions have been, and continue to be spent on Russian-derived Tokamak featuring a toroidal design. These systems are multi-stories high, and require a team of physicists to operate, and require already radioactive materials (at fantastic temps) to create a cascade effect in the reaction chamber. A spherical containment fusion system was developed for the US Navy by the late Dr. Robert Bussard and his team, for a few million over a 12 year period… It mimics the way nature works (spherical), using a chamber no larger than a meter in diameter. It does not radiate when shut down and does not use rare, already radioactive materials to cheat a reaction. It would be significantly cheaper and safer to operate than other designs being investigated. And prototype WB 8 has already returned positive energy, even with limited funding. But unfortunately, the industry is so heavily invested in Tokamaks, there has been no paradigm change within the research community to switch. Many of these people have established a multi-decade career in this specialization, to solve specific issues or investigate select phenomena to conquer a specific… Read more »

Of course, even if they are completely successful, the next challenge will be the Neutron Density problem destroying current metalurgy every 3 years or so. Unless they can get China to mass produce ‘disposable’ fusion reactors. Not to be flip about it, but the allure is certainly there.

Seeing as this technology seems daunting even to a lay person, in that so much equipment required doesn’t exist, it seems to me to be a no-brainer to concentrate on the “traveling wave reactor”, since it runs on the huge stockpile of spent/processed ‘junk’ already existing.

Paducca, Ky’s stockpile of junk would go from being less than worthless to $100 Trillion, just as an example.

This is to say, that Nuclear Power is ultimately used anyway. Competing, safer technologies are getting cheaper all the time, such as Solar Panels, while the latest ‘cost reduced’ nuclear products, such as the Westinghouse AP1000 will only cost twice as much to ultimately run as competing power plants. (Depends on the interest rate to finance the plant’s constuction).

As I said, it is amazing what you can learn on blogs, which the seried ranks of scientists and engineers at just about every energy department in the world, and just about every car company don’t know. The guys who are in the field and who have relevant qualifications are agnostic, and seeing how things pan out with the different technologies. There are umpteen pathways for, for instance, solar to hydrogen, which eliminate the storage problem which otherwise cripples renewables. The experts don’t know if they will work economically, and neither do I. To me it is simply incredible that some think they have all the answers, and can just wave their hand and get the right answer beyond any dispute. Would someone who is absolutely sure that they have the right answer and it is batteries like to explain, with full technical details, how they are absolutely sure that this, for instance, won’t work?: You can’t, because no one knows. I could name a dozen different pathways and technologies which might mean that fuel cells might end up more useful for transport than a BEV. Do I know that they will work? Of course not. Neither do others… Read more »

Dave, you are right that no one can really know. However, when I look at the path from research to the “hydrogen highway” I see many big problems that need to be solved. There is no clear path. We don’t even have a commercially cost effective way to generate hydrogen in the quantities needed. Looking at BEVs, I see a fairly clear path with the major problems solved and the current focus on increasing range, improving efficiency and decreasing cost.


You ignore the power of politics, money and the influence of lobbies pushing favored research…

The Hydrogen Lobby is now scrambling to show results, and get product out in time to attempt market diffusion / penetration, in case Elon’s genIII vehicle is a success. All the FCEVs coming out in a year or two, are not mere coincidences…

Scientists are not asked to select technologies. That is the work of business managers. Scientists are asked to create either a fuel cell vehicle or a BEV.

Ofcourse fuel cell experts will always want to work on fuel cells, not BEV.

Of cause, hydrogen will find it’s place side by side with batteries.

Don’t let the fact that not a single carmaker out there claims that viable hydrogen is less than 15 years away (which is basically saying “we don’t know if its viable”, just like Hyundai does)shake your believe in this technoloy. After all, what do they know right?

The Veloster would make a fitting addition to the array of goofy EV’s available
it will , fit right in!

It would. 🙂

I have a new domino theory for Asia. Each Fuel Cell plan will fall away as the companies hedge their bets. HyunKia is the first as they plan on a BEV in 2 years. Next will come Honda and finally Toyota. We are seeing the first dying gasps of the FCEV.

It’s curious, on the one hand carmakers like Toyota, Hyundai and Daimler seem eager to bring HFC vehicles to the market (or at least get some specimens in the hand of consumers), on the other hand they are on occasion pretty candid it’s still a long time for this to become commercially viable, if ever.

Right now, the only way it makes sense for a car company to bet on FCVs is if they think there’s a significant chance that ALL of the following things will happen:

1. There is no major price breakthrough in batteries.

2. Someone (who?) builds out the HFCV refueling network, from H supply through transportation to refueling stations, at astronomical cost.

3. The car companies can make the advancements (note the plural) needed to drive the cost of FCEVs down enough to make them palatable to the mainstream consumer.

Take away any one of those three items, and FCEVs are yet another wonderful idea that didn’t survive its encounter with the real world.

I can see why the car companies are nervous, if they want to sell in the US. The 2025 CAFE standards are high enough that trying to meet them with plug-less and H-less vehicles will be virtually impossible. They will need vehicles in their lineup rated at 100+ MPG to let them keep selling 30 to 40 MPG gasoline hybrids.

hyundais suck

Will Hyundai join the crowded field of 80 mile (and soon 100-150 mile) pure EVs, or will it instead compete with Tesla at the 265 mile (soon to be over 300 mile) level? If Hyundai were smart, it would build out 1,000 or so superchargers as well, and mate it with a 300 mile BEV that could fit at least 5 tall Americans and plenty of luggage. If you are a product planner at Hyundai and need any advice, give me a call.