Alternative-fuel vans are all the go right now – and here’s another: the Hyundai H350 Fuel Cell Concept. That’s right, this big bus runs on hydrogen.
The Hyundai H350 – a rival to the likes of the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Volkswagen Crafter among others – has been around for nearly two years, but this is the first version we’ve seen without the trusty 2.5-litre turbo diesel engine seen in the production versions.
The new H350 model is said to offer a glimpse into the future of Hyundai‘s light commercial range, but unlike the plug-in Volkswagen e-Crafter, the Hyundai model uses a fuel cell that produces its own electricity on board.
The fuel-cell stack and 175-litre hydrogen tank (which can be filled in four minutes) are teamed to an electric motor and battery bank, with the drivetrain offering a claimed 422 kilometres of driving range. Compare that to the 200km of electric range and 45 minute charge time in the electric VW, and the fuel-cell H350 seems to make sense.
That is, if you can fill it up. Hydrogen is still in its infancy as a mainstream fuel, but you can plug in to a powerpoint just about anywhere.
The H350 Fuel Cell Concept’s drivetrain components are “intelligently packed in such a way that its installation has no impact on the H350’s load area”, with all the main components under the floor of the vehicle.
The H350 is sold in varied wheelbase derivatives, with capacities of 10.5 or 12.9 cubic metres, and it can be had as a 14-seat bus, too.
While the Hyundai H350 is currently only available in left-hand drive, there’s a chance the model is in the midst of being engineered for right-hand-drive markets.
That means we could see the big van and its cab-chassis variant in Australia within the next two years.
As for a fuel cell version? Don’t hold your breath.