Steane Klose | Sep 2, 2007

We’ve seen the Japanese automakers move from manufacturing cheap and cheerful cars to now being regarded as arguably the worlds finest automobile manufacturers. They are now home of the worlds richest car manufacturer (Toyota) and we are used to seeing hybrids and alternative fuel concepts from these manufacturers at the world’s various motor shows.

It’s with interest that we now regard the Korean manufacturers. Like Japan they started with cheap and cheerful, to gain a foothold in various markets and now they are raising the stakes. Witness the Hyundai Genesis and the Kia cee’d range. No longer content to be thought of as second rate or cheap, Korean firms like Kia and Hyundai have set out to challenge our perceptions of Korean built cars.

Hyundai have just announced that they will be debuting the i-Blue Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle at the 2007 Frankfurt International Motor Show. A hydrogen powered, zero-emission concept the i-Blue features Hyundai’s third generation fuel cell technology, currently being developed by their Eco-Technology Research Institute in Korea.

"The i-Blue is Hyundai's first-ever model designed from the ground up to incorporate fuel cell technology, marking a tremendous leap forward for our R&D program," said Dr. Hyun-Soon Lee, president of research and development. "Our engineering team has successfully designed a more compact fuel cell vehicle, while still realizing the safety, comfort, convenience and driving range of a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle."

The theme of this years Frankfurt Motor Show is “See What’s Driving the Future” and Hyundai consider the i-Blue concept to be major step towards the commercialization of a Hyundai fuel cell vehicle.

Steane

[Source: Hyundai via Automotive News]

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