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Hyundai to broaden fuel cell lineup

South Korean carmaker hopping on the eco-bus

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor is launching an offensive in the nascent global market for automobiles powered by hydrogen fuel cells, planning to release a new sport utility vehicle and a commercial bus in the coming two years.

The new crossover SUV will boast 30% better millage than the existing entry, and adding a fuel cell bus will give the South Korean automaker a lineup to match the Japanese competition.

The SUV will be the second generation of the Hyundai Tucson ix fuel cell vehicle. The first-generation model, released in 2013, could travel 426km on a full tank of hydrogen. The new version is due out in January 2018 and will go 560km, besting the 502km range of Toyota Motor's Mirai fuel cell car launched in 2014.

Hyundai aims to keep the price at the 60 million won level (around $50,280) so that consumers can buy the SUV for less than 40 million won with the help of government subsidies for environmentally friendly vehicles.

The company plans to begin marketing the bus sometime in 2017 -- the year Toyota has said it will launch its own fuel cell bus.

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