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Kia supplies the South Korean army with a range of special-purpose vehicles.
Kia supplies the South Korean army with a range of special-purpose vehicles.

Coming soon: Hydrogen-powered Kia military vehicles may become reality

  • Kia is learnt to have opted to make hydrogen-powered military vehicles before taking the technology to passenger vehicles.

Hyundai has a lead in the global automotive market when it comes to hydrogen-powered mobility options but Kia, part of Hyundai Motor Group appears to be in no rush to bring the technology to its passenger vehicles just yet. In fact, reports in the South Korean media state that Kia is looking at first offering the technology to military vehicles it supplies the country's defense forces.

(Also read: Kia Motors takes aim, guns for bigger role in developing combat vehicles)

Reports quote Song Ho-Sung, President and CEO of Kia Motors, as saying that the focus would be on bringing the technology to military vehicles and that the first hydrogen-powered passenger cars could be possibly 2028 onwards.

The possibilities of incorporating hydrogen fuel-cell technology for military purposes may not be limited to just the vehicles but could also form a key part during a wide variety of operations where power supply may be required.

Kia previously informed that it is looking to roll out the next-generation of 2.5- and 5-ton military vehicles and that its modular approach to developing new vehicles could come in handy. “Kia is exploring the potential for hydrogen fuel cell technology across diverse military applications, including fuel cell vehicles and emergency power generators," the company had stated. “Fuel cell technology is considered suitable for future military vehicles as it can supply large amounts of electricity in combat environments."

At present, Kia supplies South Korean army with a number of vehicles which include 0.25-, 1.25-, 2.5- and 5-ton models. It also developed the country's first all-pupose tactical vehicle. In all, around 140,000 units have been manufactured by the company for the military. 

  • First Published Date : 14 Sep 2021, 02:35 PM IST