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Seoul Motor Show: Hyundai pursues fuel cell vehicles

Hyundai has unveiled a fuel cell vehicle concept at the Seoul Motor Show, aiming to prove that battery-electric isn't the only way forward for emission-free motoring.

The mid-size 'Blue2' car is designed as a blueprint for the brand's future sedans and is intended to push Hyundai to the front of the fledgling fuel cell market, dominated at the moment by names such as Mercedes Benz and Honda.

Using hydrogen as its fuel, the Blue2 manages a fuel economy of 34.9 km to the liter, thanks to the ultra-clean engine and an aerodynamic design with low-resistance tires.

Inside, the car has been optimized for ease-of-use and driver comfort, featuring an automatic door opening system, a welcome system which can identify the driver and wider seats to enable easy entry and exit of the vehicle. Even the leather of the interior has been designed to improve the occupants' wellbeing - it is antibacterial, and works with a cluster ionizer to keep the car fresh.

Despite the infrastructure problems associated with fuelling hydrogen vehicles, several automakers have indicated that they want to keep their options open regarding the technology, which has been somewhat sidelined in favor of electric cars.

Last year Honda said that it still believed that "in the long-term, fuel-cell electric vehicles will provide the ultimate mobility," promising that it would continue work on the FCX Clarity, its fuel-cell vehicle which is available on a test basis internationally.

Also at the show, Hyundai unveiled its Sonata Hybrid to its domestic market for the first time, promising that it would be available in Korea in the first half of this year.

The Seoul International Motor Show is open to the public April 1 - 10 in Seoul, Korea.