November 30, 2008 Kia has rolled-out the latest chapter in its fuel-cell research vehicle development program at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. Continuing on from the Sportage Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) technology demonstrator which made its European debut in Paris this year, the new Kia Borrego FCEV boasts significant improvements in both range (now over 400 miles) and performance (154 horsepower with a top speed of 100 mph).
The higher output 154 horsepower fuel cell represents a jump of a 44-percent on the previous generation and a new motor (110kW compared with 80kW) plus a new 450-volt Supercapacitor gives the Borrego FCEV higher performance, extended driving range and cold-weather starting capability to operate in sub-zero temperatures.
The impressive claim of a 426 mile range is the result of a larger 202-liter hydrogen storage tank located underneath the vehicle (50 liters more than the Sportage FCEV) and fuel efficiency is improved to 54 mpg.
The Borrego FCEV also uses lightweight aluminum body shell components to give it a power-to-weight ratio similar to the new production model SUV. Acceleration is pegged at 0-60 mph in 12.8 seconds - not lightning fast but again a significant jump from the previous generation which clocked 15 seconds.
Kia says that the latest Borrego FCEV "drives us closer to making fuel cell vehicles available for consumers". It's still unclear exactly when that will be... but the sooner the better.