Skip to main content

Kia will address emissions standards with a hydrogen fuel cell car in 2021

kia hydrogen fuel cell car 2016 sorento sx awd steering wheel
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Kia is working on an all-new model to help the automaker meet tighter emissions standards in 2021.

Speaking with Artur Martins, Kia’s European Head of Marketing, Autocar reports that the company will use a large-platform vehicle to house internal combustion, hybrid, electric, and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains.

“It is not clear what kind of bodystyle the cars will have, but it will be dedicated models rather than using an existing donor car as we do now with the ix35,” said Kia’s head of fuel cell research, Dr Sae-Hoon Kim. Citing the Toyota Mirai, Kim noted that a bespoke hydrogen fuel cell model can be designed for additional cooling compared to electric or gas-engine vehicles.

Kia’s new hydrogen fuel stack will be 15 percent more compact than the current setup and deliver 10 percent more performance. The estimated range is in the ballpark of 500 miles and the dedicated HFC vehicle should top out at 105 mph.

Before you jump to the newly introduced Stinger GT, Martins made it clear that vehicle will remain performance oriented for the time being. With the Sorento crossover due for a new generation soon, it might be the perfect architecture for Kia’s hydrogen plans. Should the HFC model be a hit, Kia will roll out the technology to other models in its lineup.

Hydrogen fuel cell technology may be Kia’s best bet to achieve reduced CO2 emissions. Complemented by several new engines and plenty of hybrid, PHEV, and EV models, Kia could have one of the cleanest fleets in just four years’ time. Kia says this process will create thousands of jobs and cost billions of dollars.

As more companies join Toyota, Kia-Hyundai, GM, and Honda in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology, this tech could very well rival or exceed the current growth of battery-electric vehicles.

Editors' Recommendations

Miles Branman
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Miles Branman doesn't need sustenance; he needs cars. While the gearhead gene wasn't strong in his own family, Miles…
Kia’s next electric car, due in 2021, will be a stunner
Kia Imagine concept

Kia is getting serious about electric cars. After launching a pair of electric models based on existing small hatchbacks, the Korean automaker looks set to launch its first electric car based on a clean-sheet design. That car will be based on the Imagine concept first seen at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, and will go into production in 2021, a Kia executive said in an interview with Automotive News Europe.

Emilio Herrera, COO of Kia's European operations, confirmed the plans, but didn't offer any details on how the Imagine would change as it made the transition from concept car to production model. The Imagine blends sedan and crossover styling elements, similar to the Polestar 2 from Volvo's new upscale division. The car is close in size to compact models like the Volkswagen Golf or Kia's own Forte, meaning it will likely compete with VW's upcoming compact electric cars.

Read more
Pint-sized 2021 Kia Seltos crossover could be a great tech value
2021 kia seltos makes us debut at 2019 los angeles auto show



Read more
Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell truck makes hauling freight green and glamorous
hyundai hdc 6 neptune concept hydrogen fuel cell truck



Read more