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Kia Borrego FCEV - Still an SUV

Breaking News

Recently presented at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Borrego FCEV ups the ante for Kia, who for a while was pitching their Sportage FCEV.
Kia Borrego FCEV

by Ross Bonander

Specs

  • Type: Hydrogen fuel cell
  • Class: SUV
  • Manufacturer: Kia
  • Propulsion system: Fuel cell stack with supercapacitors (110 kW motor)
  • Fuel cell output: 115 kW (154 hp)
  • Top Speed: 100 mph
  • Zero-to-60: 12.8 seconds
  • Vehicle range: 426 miles
  • MPG: 54 mpg (23 kpl)
  • Fuel(s): Hydrogen
  • Battery system: 450 volt supercapacitor
  • Tailpipe emissions: None
  • Price: Starting at $27,000 (MSRP)

The manufacturer says...

"Now we will be able to build fuel cell electric vehicles in higher volumes and lower cost for fleet testing and the latest Borrego FCEV drives us closer to making fuel cell vehicles available for consumers."

The critics say...

“Though it's rated at 154 hp, the hydrogen fuel cell stack is forty-four percent more powerful than its predecessor, and its 426-mile range is impressive as well.”automotive.com

Overview

Recently presented at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Borrego FCEV ups the ante for Kia, who for a while was pitching their Sportage FCEV. The Borrego’s specs top the Sportage in almost every category, with the exception of fuel efficiency, and in that case, not much is lost.

Kia claims that they will begin production of this Borrego in 2010, although the volume will be low and the vehicle will initially only be available in South Korea.

What we like

The fuel cell plus supercapacitor. This clever marriage, which dodges the usual lithium-ion battery pack, allows the Borrego to start in extremely low temperatures—as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, any advancement in the use of supercapacitors is a step in the right direction.

What we don’t...

The SUV. It would be nice to know that SUVs were on their way out, especially ones that weigh 2.5 tons (like this Borrego).

Conclusions

The Borrego FCEV is a step in the right direction for the hydrogen fuel cell industry. Whether Kia will really make this a production vehicle by 2010 remains to be seen. It is scheduled to appear at both the Detroit and Chicago auto shows in 2009, at which time we may see some of these otherwise impressive specs take a dip.

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