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Hyundai Motor Company, the world’s fifth-largest automobile group, joined leading global automakers to urge governments, energy companies and other organisations to develop easily accessible and affordable hydrogen infrastructure to ensure the successful introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) into the global marketplace.
Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation., Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation / Opel, Honda Motor Company, Ltd., the alliance Renault SA and Nissan Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation announced on Wednesday that they had signed a joint Letter of Understanding addressed to all oil and energy companies and government organisations. The letter calls on these organisations to propel the development of hydrogen refuelling stations in each region, ahead of the carmakers’ launch of FCEVs.
“A hydrogen infrastructure network with sufficient density is required by 2015,” the automakers said in a joint press release. “The network should be built-up from metropolitan areas via corridors into area-wide coverage.” The companies “strongly support the idea of building-up a hydrogen infrastructure in Europe, with Germany as starting point and at the same time developing similar concepts for the market penetration of hydrogen infrastructure in other regions of the world, with one US market, Japan and Korea as further starting points,” according to the joint release.
Hyundai’s FCEV program has been gaining momentum with plans in place to start limited series production by 2012. Hyundai plans to expand its demonstrator fleet of FCEVs to 200 units by 2010, including SUVs and city buses; then slowly ramp up production starting in 2012.
FCEVs are part of Hyundai’s “Blue Drive” strategy, an eco-initiative which will bring to market a range of eco-friendly products and technologies designed to reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel efficiency. Hyundai will introduce four Blue Drive models at the upcoming 2009 IAA in Frankfurt where the company has created a special Blue Drive Zone to exhibit a wide array of its new eco-friendly technologies and products. There will be a world debut of the ix-Metro, a daring new Hybrid Electric CUV for the European sub-B segment which promises CO2 emissions of just 80g/km.
The other world debut will be the i10 Electric, a zero emissions urban commuter vehicle. There will also be the Elantra LPI Hybrid and the Blue Will Plug-In Hybrid Electric concept vehicle on display. The Elantra LPI HEV is the world's first hybrid electric vehicle to be powered by liquid petroleum gas and the first production car to be powered by advanced lithium ion polymer batteries (LiPoly).
Lastly, a new Blue edition of Hyundai's highly popular i30, designed in Germany and built in the Czech Republic, will debut in Frankfurt. It features fuel-saving stop-and-go emissions reduction technology. The i30 1.6 CRDi with ISG generates just 113g/km of CO2.
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