Kia preparing new hydrogen fuel cell car

Kia is focusing on hydrogen fuel cell tech in its drive to develop greener powertrains with diesel and full-EV taking a back seat for now

Kia Niro - full front

Kia is pushing ahead with building a new hydrogen fuel cell car as part of its push for more sustainable powertrains.

Speaking at an event at Kia’s R&D centre in Namyang, South Korea, engineering boss Albert Biermann confirmed the project while discussing more performance-oriented electric powertrains. “Are we working on a Tesla fighter like everybody else? At this point I can tell you: no, we are not working on it. But I would not exclude this for all times - when the time comes we can just do it. We have our own eco powertrain development centre, and we’re also developing a hydrogen fuel cell car for the Kia side.”

New Kia Rio to get sporty GT version

So while there’s no powerful all-electric model on the agenda just yet, the brand is pushing ahead with alternative fuels like hydrogen. Sister brand Hyundai already has the ix35 Fuel Cell on the road, so we expect the Kia hydrogen car to use a similar system.

That means it could appear on the Kia Sportage SUV - the bigger size means there’s more room to pack in the fuel cell and batteries needed for this kind of powertrain.

The Hyundai ix35’s range of 359 miles and emissions of pure water only also indicate what we can expect from the Kia hydrogen fuel cell car. The biggest problem for both cars will continue to be the lack of filling stations, however, with only a handful around the UK currently.

Biermann told us that the group is working hard on cars like these partly because of the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal of 2015. “You know what’s going on with diesel right now and I think it’s better to focus on hybrid to make sure we have a sustainable car for the future,” he told us.

This also means that we won’t see a diesel in a performance context from the Kia GT or Hyundai N brands. “Five years ago I would have said yes to that,” he said. “But today I would say no.”

Now read all about Kia's new Rio SUV here...

Recommended

Kia outlines its long-term electric van production strategy
Kia electric vans
Kia

Kia outlines its long-term electric van production strategy

The Korean car maker will set up a new factory for electric ‘Purpose Built Vehicles’ as early as 2026.
18 May 2022
“Why rivals don’t ‘borrow’ Kia’s successful business model is beyond me”
Opinion - Kia
Kia

“Why rivals don’t ‘borrow’ Kia’s successful business model is beyond me”

Kia’s sales success in the UK is no surprise to Mike Rutherford, who predicted the Korean brand’s rise ten years ago
17 Apr 2022
New 2023 Kia EV9 confirmed for the UK
Kia Concept EV9 - front
Kia

New 2023 Kia EV9 confirmed for the UK

The production version of the Kia Concept EV9 will sit at the top of the brand’s all-electric range and will go on sale in the UK next year
29 Mar 2022
Kia gears up to launch 14 new electric cars by 2027
Kia EV plan
Kia

Kia gears up to launch 14 new electric cars by 2027

Kia has announced its plans to transform into a ‘leading sustainable mobility solutions provider’ by the year 2030
3 Mar 2022

Most Popular

Citroen Ami on sale in the UK this summer from £7,695
Citroen Ami UK - front static
Citroen Ami

Citroen Ami on sale in the UK this summer from £7,695

The compact quadricycle is pricier than first thought, but the Citroen Ami will still be the UK’s cheapest ‘car’
24 May 2022
New Toyota GR86 2022 review
Toyota GR86
Toyota GR86

New Toyota GR86 2022 review

The GT86 has evolved into the GR86, gaining a bigger engine, a stiffer shell and chassis tweaks. Is it now affordable sports car perfection?
26 May 2022
New SsangYong Musso Saracen 2022 review
SsangYong Musso Saracen - front tracking
SsangYong Musso

New SsangYong Musso Saracen 2022 review

The 2022 SsangYong Musso pickup features sharper looks and a new diesel engine
25 May 2022