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Hyundai i-Blue fuel cell concept

Hyundai launches the i-Blue fuel cell vehicle at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show.

Hyundai i-Blue concept
Hyundai's new concept was launched at the Chicago Auto Show. Hyundai

At the 2008 Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai showed off a purpose-built fuel cell vehicle called the i-Blue. Hyundai has been developing a fuel cell powertrain for several years using its Tucson SUV as a test vehicle. As a purpose-built vehicle, Hyundai was able to place the fuel stack under the floor, making for better weight distribution. Hyundai classifies the i-Blue as a crossover utility vehicle, although it uses a 2+2 seating arrangement, which would put it on the small side for a crossover. As a concept, it employs futuristic-looking driver controls and instrumentation, complete with a 3D heads-up display and cameras around the car.

Hyundai i-Blue fuel cell powertrain
The i-Blue uses a fuel cell powertrain. Hyundai

The i-Blue uses Hyundai's third generation fuel cell powertrain, fed by tanks holding 115 liters of compressed hydrogen at 700 bar, about 10,000 PSI. This hydrogen is converted into electricity in the fuel-cell stack, which powers a 100 kilowatt motor. Hyundai said this system gives the i-Blue a range of 370 miles and a top speed of 100 mph. With Honda already launching the Clarity as a production fuel cell vehicle, Hyundai seems to be vying to be second in the fuel cell race.