Advertisement

Kia Accelerates its Fuel Cell Program with New Borrego FCEV Concept

By KBB.com Editors on November 26, 2008 10:23 AM

Kia used the Los Angeles Auto Show to reveal its latest hydrogen-powered concept, the Borrego Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV). This newest take on its mid-size SUV brings a host of technological innovations that enhance performance, range and overall drivability. At the heart of Kia's zero-emissions hauler is a redesigned high-output hydrogen-powered fuel cell that makes 154 horsepower, 44 percent more ponies than the previous generation stack. This is paired with an equally potent 450-volt supercapacitor that can kick in an additional 134 horses to assist acceleration for short periods.

Kia claims the Gen II Borrego FCEV has a top speed of 100 mph and can reach 60 mph in 12.8 seconds. More importantly, its upgraded powertrain elements can transform the contents of a 202-liter hydrogen tank mounted below the floor and ahead of its rear wheels into a range of nearly 426 miles. That accomplishment nets it a best-in-class efficiency rating of 62 percent -- and a combined EPA combined equivalency mark of 54 mpg. Another real-world advantage of this new Kia setup is its ability to operate in sub-zero temperatures, overcoming a weakness that has previously limited the appeal of fuel cells in general.

Dr. Hyun Soon Lee, president of research and development for the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, characterized the breakthroughs in the Borrego FCEV as major steps on the way to making both fuel-cell powered and pure electric vehicles more attractive and more cost-effective alternatives for average consumers. An integral part of Hyundai's newly announced global Blue Drive initiative, the firm expects to deploy this new hardware in its first hydrogen-powered FCEV production models starting as early as 2012.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Thanks for Supporting
Kelley Blue Book.
We deliver up-to-date car values, expert reviews and unbiased reporting at no
cost to you. To do this, we display ads from only trusted automotive partners.

To continue on our site, simply turn off your ad blocker and refresh the page.