ULSAN: With the ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle, Hyundai has became the world’s first automaker to begin assembly-line production of zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered vehicles for fleet use.
The first ix35 fuel cell vehicle, based on Hyundai’s popular ix35, C-segment sport utility vehicle or SUV (called the Tucson in some markets), exited the assembly line at Hyundai Motor’s Plant No. 5 during a recent launch event attended by Hyundai top management.
“With the ix35 fuel cell vehicle, Hyundai is leading the way into the zero-emissions future,” said Hyundai Motor vice chairman Eok Jo Kim.
"The ix35 fuel cell is the most eco-friendly vehicle in the auto industry and proves that hydrogen fuel cell technology in daily driving is no longer a dream.”
The ix35 fuel cell unveiled at the ceremony will be one of 17 destined for fleet customers in Copenhagen, Denmark and Skåne, Sweden.
Copenhagen, as part of its initiative to be carbon-free by 2025, will be supplied with 15 ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles for fleet use, according to an agreement that was announced in September 2012.
Two ix35 fuel cell vehicles will be supplied to Skåne, Sweden.
Hyundai plans to build 1,000 ix35 fuel cell vehicles by 2015 for lease to public and private fleets, primarily in Europe, where the European Union has established a hydrogen road map and initiated construction of hydrogen fueling stations.
The strategy of leading automakers in Europe and the United States is to supply hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and establish refueling stations in order to prepare the market for mass production of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
After 2015, with lowered vehicle production costs and further developed hydrogen infrastructure, Hyundai will begin manufacturing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for consumer retail sales.
Built with proprietary technology, Hyundai’s ix35 fuel cell is powered by hydrogen.
A fuel cell stack converts the hydrogen into electricity, which turns the vehicle’s motor.
The only emission generated by the ix35 fuel cell is water.
Hyundai’s ix35 fuel cell boasts drivability and performance similar to that of the petrol ix35.
The ix35 fuel cell is the halo vehicle in Hyundai’s Blue Drive sub-brand, the badge worn by Hyundai’s cleanest vehicles, including Sonata Hybrid, i20 Blue Drive and BlueOn, Hyundai’s battery-powered i10.
The ix35 fuel cell can be refueled with hydrogen in only a few minutes.
It accelerates from zero to 100kph in 12.5 seconds, has a top speed of 160kph and can travel 594km with a single charge.
The ix35 fuel cell is the result of 14 years and several hundred million euros of research by hundreds of engineers at Hyundai’s fuel cell R&D centre in Mabuk, South Korea.
The car has logged more than 2 million miles of road tests in real-world conditions in Europe, South Korea and the United States.