More stories related to 2005 Greater L.A. Auto Show LOS ANGELES – Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. unveils its second-generation fuel-cell package under the hood of an ’05 Tucson cross/utility vehicle during the Greater L.A. Auto Show here.

The vehicle, dubbed Tucson FCEV, carries on Hyundai’s quest to craft a fuel-cell future. A spokesman says the auto maker will augment an Oakland, CA, fuel-cell fleet operated by AC Transit, Hyundai Technical Center and Southern California Edison with five units built in South Korea.

In addition, Hyundai is considering ways to introduce clean-diesel technology in the U.S. following stricter Tier II Bin 5 rules that go into action in 2007. Hyundai sells diesel-powered vehicles in other markets, but is holding off on U.S. introduction until it can better gauge consumer demand and the feasibility of meeting tougher standards.

Hyundai is commencing a new 5-year federal program with ChevronTexaco Corp. in cooperation with the Dept. of Energy, to test its latest fuel-cell developments.

The Tuscon FCEV is being circulated to test cold-weather performance and range. Currently, Hyundai says it can extend the vehicle’s driving range 186 miles (300 km) drawing from a 40-gallon (152L) hydrogen storage tank made by Dynetek Industries Ltd.

The hydrogen-fueled powertrain was developed by UTC Fuel Cells, based in Connecticut. The $31 million supplier is partnered with BMW AG, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and the DOE, in addition to Hyundai. It is a competitor to Ballard Power Systems.

Hyundai’s previous fuel-cell program, which used the larger Santa Fe CUV, is better tied in with an actual product program, the spokesman says. The auto maker developed the Tucson FCEV on a parallel path with the actual Tucson development program, utilizing similar digitized engineering data from the early stages.

jstoll@primediabusiness.com