Hyundai is starting series production of its hydrogen-powered ix35 fuel cell vehicle and will make its first fuel cell vehicle available for public and private lease by the end of 2012, the carmaker has revealed at the Paris Motor Show.
We already knew that the Korean brand was extending its lease programme with the Municipality of Copenhagen (see story), but now we know that it is not just the Danish which will have the chance to lease some of the first hydrogen cars available in the world.
From this December, Hyundai will begin manufacture the ix35 Fuel Cell at its Ulsan manufacturing facility in Korea, with a target of building up to 1,000 vehicles by 2015. Models are also planned for lease in Sweden too after the carmaker agreed a contract with a municipality fleet here.
Beyond 2015, Hyundai plans ‘limited mass production’ of the ix35 Fuel Cell, with a goal of 10,000 units.
“The ix35 Fuel Cell is the pinnacle of Hyundai’s advanced engineering and our most powerful commitment to be the industry leader in eco-friendly mobility,” said Vice Chairman Woong Chul Yang, head of Hyundai R&D. “Zero-emissions cars are no longer a dream. Our ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle is here today, and ready for commercial use.”
The ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle will become the halo vehicle in Hyundai’s Blue Drive sub-brand which includes the Sonata Hybrid, i20 Blue Drive and BlueOn, Hyundai’s battery-powered i10.
Combustion car-like performance, EV-like zero emissions
Fitted with a 5.6 kg hydrogen storage tank, the car uses a fuel cell stack to convert hydrogen into electricity to charge the car’s 24 kW lithium polymer battery which powers the vehicle’s electric motor. The result is emissions of just pure water.
Performance, range and refuelling is similar to a conventional combustion car, will a full refuel of the hydrogen tank taking just a couple of minutes. Top speed is 100mph, with a 0-62 time of 12.5 seconds. The car can travel around 365 miles on a full tank.
With the rollout of its first hydrogen car, Hyundai says it is encouraged by developments in Europe, where there is a growing network of hydrogen refuelling stations. Expansion of fuelling stations is also anticipated in Korea and California too, and Hyundai will supply its ix35 Fuel Cell to public and private fleets there, as well.
The ix35 Fuel Cell is currently participating in the European Hydrogen Road Tour, organised by the European demonstration programme, H2moves. The Road Tour is set to arrive in the UK next month (more on that here), providing the British public with a rare chance to get up close and personal with hydrogen cars.
The launch of the series production model means that Hyundai is on target to become one of the first firms to produce a mass-market hydrogen car, with a full launch planned for 2015.
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
September 28, 2012
Filed under: Hyundai
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