Nowadays, the differences between vehicle generations are vast. Take the Hyundai Tucson ix Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle, for example. While its name remains just as long as it was a generation ago, the vehicle improves its single tank operating range by 76% to over 400 miles. That is definitely improvement, to say the least.

Most of this progression has to do with the implementation of a revised 100-kilowatt fuel cell system with two hydrogen storage cylinders. The setup allows for the Tucson to achieve a gasoline equivalent of around 70 mpg.

The fuel cell system is 20% smaller than its predecessor and can now operate as temperatures hovering at -18.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hyundai appropriately chose to debut its ride at this week's Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy 2011 event held in Washington D.C. After the show, Hyundai will build 50 Tucson ix prototypes for the Korean government's validation program. Next year, executives hope to introduce a limited loaner supply, followed by mass production in 2015.

Here's how the Tucson ix FCEV (3rd generation) stacks up against the Tucson FCEV (2nd generation).


CLASSIFICATION Tucson ix FCEV Tucson FCEV
SPECIFICATIONS
Fuel Cell Stack 100kW 100kW
Drive System 100kW 100kW
Energy Storage System 21kW (Battery) 100kW (Super Capacity)
Hydrogen Storage System 700bar (Hydrogen : 5.6kg) 350bar (Hydrogen : 3.5kg)
PERFORMANCE
Maximum Speed 100 mph 100 mph
Gasoline Equivalent Fuel Efficiency 7 2 mpg 6 3 mpg
Max. Driving Distance per single refueling 40 3 mi 23 0 mi

Source: Hyundai