Hyundai has just stepped in to lead the market towards a trend in a zero-emission future by rolling out the hydrogen powered ix35 (Tucson) crossover from the production line at their factory in Korea. This grants Hyundai the title of being the first automobile company to enter assembly production of fuel-cell powered vehicle. For now, a total of 1000 of these cars will be made available till 2015 but for fleet use only and that too mostly around Europe. In the coming few years when the hydrogen technology gains popularity, infrastructure is suitable for mass production, only then Hyundai will consider launching these vehicles for customer retail market.
The technology is pretty expensive at this stage but Hyundai has proven that hydrogen fuel-cells can be the future of mobility even for daily purposes. The zero-emission ix35 was taken for a north to south drive of the European continent which scaled a total of 2246 kms. The entire journey took five days and refuelling was done at publicly available hydrogen filling stations only. The Hyundai ix35 has a maximum range of about 600 kms from a full refuel and all it emits is water vapour.
The Hyundai ix35 is powered by an electric motor of 136 BHP capacity. The fuel-cell stack converts hydrogen into electricity which in turn would power this electric motor to perform a 0-100 km/hr run in 12.5 seconds. While it can achieve a top speed of 160 km/hr, all it would be emitting into the environment is pure, clean water vapour. These figures are almost similar to those given by their fuel burning counterparts but with some relief to the environment.
The Hyundai ix35 fuel cell crossover is the result of 14 years of intense research and several million dollars spent for the same. Currently 17 such ix35’s are drive-ready of which 15 will be handed over to civic management of Copenhagen city for fleet use and the other two to Skane in Sweden. With a global initiative to reduce dependency on fossils and reduce carbon footprint, cars such as the Hyundai ix35 can be good examples towards the change. The first of the seventeen cars rolled from the Korean factory will be displayed at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.