EVs aren't the only option yet.
For most manufacturers, the future may be electric, but many are experimenting with alternative fuel sources. Whether it be an organic-based biofuel or some other sort of synthetic fuel, manufacturers aren't ready to put all their eggs in one basket. To that end, some have continued to develop the concept of using hydrogen too.
Toyota has been eyeing H2 for internal combustion, as seen with its special Gazoo Racing concepts, while its fuel cell developments have already proven the element's viability with the Mirai FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicle). Hyundai is now investing in a clean, combustion-powered future by striking a deal with one of the largest energy companies in the world.
The Korean automaker has teamed up with Saudi Aramco and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) on developing an ultra-lean-burning e-fuel that produces low emissions. If the Aramco sounds familiar to you, that's because it's the very same organization that is currently partnered with Aston Martin's Formula 1 team to develop synthetic fuels. Aramco's e-fuel will be based on green hydrogen through the process of water electrolysis. To keep things clean, only renewable electricity will be used to power the facility where it is being developed and Hyundai promises that the life-cycle emissions of the process will be 80% lower than that of a conventional internal combustion car.
Hyundai also notes that with this fuel, users can expect improved thermal efficiency and fuel economy compared to a car that runs on conventional diesel or gasoline. The South Korean manufacturer will be working with Aramco and KAUST on the project for the next two years at least, which means that others who have already begun R&D - such as Porsche - have a clear edge. Unfortunately, Hyundai Motor Group is not purporting that synthetic fuels will be its main focus, as explained by HMG executive vice president Alain Raposo.
"BEVs and FCEVs will be Hyundai's ultimate technology to achieve carbon-neutral mobility while eco-friendly ICE technology which combines eco-friendly fuel and ultra-lean-burn engines will be key to effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions during our transition to EVs."
However, Hyundai may see benefits during the R&D phase that could keep cars like the Veloster N around a little longer, and although it's only a glimmer of hope for ICE power, it's hope nonetheless.