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WDS 2024: Kia Motors presents hydrogen fuel-cell all-terrain vehicle

Hydrogen fuel cell used in the Kia hydrogen fuel-cell all terrain vehicle. (Janes/Sunil Nair)

Kia Motors showcased its all-terrain vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel-cell technology at the World Defense Show (WDS) 2024 held in Riyadh from 4 to 8 February. Previously, the vehicle was shown at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX) 2023 as the EV9 military concept car.

The vehicle is powered by the same hydrogen fuel-cell stack that powers Hyundai's Nexo passenger cars. The Nexo's fuel-cell system combines oxygen and hydrogen to create a flow of electrons that powers the electric drive motor and charges the 1.56 kW high-voltage battery. Kia engineers said the concept vehicle with a high crash stability frame is equipped with a ‘vehicle-to-load' function that enables smooth power supply even in rugged and demanding battlefield environments.

Categorised by Kia Motors as medium-sized, the vehicle on display has a gross weight of 3,250 kg, a length of 5 m, a height and width of 1.9 m, and a ground clearance of 220 m. Kia gives a cruising range of 480 km, with the vehicle being able to navigate gradients of 60%, an approach angle of 60°, and a departure angle of 25°.

It is powered by a 90 kW hydrogen fuel cell with a 90 kW fuel stack. It has a 1.56 kW battery and a 6.3 kg hydrogen tank.

The vehicle on display was shown fitted with the same touchscreen display and driver's controls as the one in Nexo, but this is expected to change for the militarised versions, which demand a more rugged interface. While the vehicle is an early prototype, it is an important part of Kia's purpose-built vehicle vision for both military and homeland security solutions.

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