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Sportage fuel cell electric vehicle
Hi there folks. Interested in future of Kia cars? I found a very interesting test drive article with Kia Sportage FCEV. I hope guys at Carmagazine won’t get angry, because posting it here! Enjoy…
What is FCEV? It stands for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle, and this Sportage SUV is Kia’s latest attempt at a hydrogen-powered car. This technology has been the talk of the industry for the last decade as the ultimate in eco-friendly motoring.
Most experts thought production cars were another ten to 15 years away, as sky-high development costs and a lack of accessible filling stations were the stumbling blocks. However, Honda recently announced it would sell a Ł50,000 fuel cell saloon from next year in America and Japan, so all car makers are now re-assessing their plans.
Why is a small player like Kia making a hydrogen car? Kia is still a relatively young auto company, having made its first ever car as recently as 1974. But after it joined forces with Hyundai a decade ago growth has been phenomenal, and it has recently announced ambitious plans. Compared with 2006, it wants a 90 percent increase in global sales by 2010.
The UK dealer network is to grow from the current 140 outlets to 170 by the same year. The first hybrid car will be launched in Korea in 2009 and in Europe by 2012. Fuel cells, as the ultimate in ‘green’ driving, are the logical next step.
How does the Sportage FCEV work? Hydrogen isn’t just about making big bombs. On the Sportage FCEV, the gas is stored at 700-bar pressure in twin 76-litre tanks. It’s then piped into a fuel cell stack, which is about the size of a big shoebox, where it combines with oxygen to make electricity.
This electricity is then stored in a battery and used to drive three electric motors developing 107bhp in total. All that comes out of the exhaust is water vapour. You fill the car at a special H-pump, but it’s just like topping up with regular fuel. [Read more @ carmagazine.co.uk]