NEW YORK -- Manfred Fitzgerald, the global brand boss for Genesis, has a firm opinion about where the industry's powertrain diversification is ultimately heading.
Genesis, Hyundai Motor Co.'s luxury brand, will offer internal combustion, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric powertrains, Fitz-gerald told Automotive News at the auto show here.
But, he added, "the ultimate game will be, obviously, fuel cells, and our mother ship has a lot of knowledge in that area."
Acknowledging that building a hydrogen-fueling infrastructure is an obstacle, Fitzgerald left little doubt that Genesis -- and Hyundai -- see fuel cells as the best long-range powertrain.
The fledgling luxury brand made a statement about hydrogen in New York by showing its GV80 crossover concept with a fuel-cell powertrain. Genesis and Hyundai join automakers such as Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. in their interest in hydrogen power, which offers the advantages of clean burning and rapid refueling times.
But there is skepticism in other industry quarters.
Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche this month said the German maker was de-emphasizing fuel cells because advances in EV battery cost and range make fuel cells uncompetitive.
Fitzgerald said the GV80 represents the size of crossover that Genesis plans to bring out in "about two years." The brand now has the G80 and G90 sedans on the market, and will bring out the G70 compact sedan this year.
Genesis has said it will have a six-vehicle lineup, and a coupe version of the G70 has been mentioned as an option. But Fitzgerald was noncommittal: "The other one we're going to leave open a little bit."