Hyundai First In With Fuel Cell Lines
HYUNDAI CELEBRATES WORLD’S FIRST ASSEMBLY LINE PRODUCTION OF ZERO-EMISSIONS FUEL CELL VEHICLES
“With the ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle, Hyundai is leading the way into the zero-emissions future,” Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman, Eok Jo Kim said, as a white Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle rolled off the assembly line at Hyundai’s Ulsan manufacturing facility. “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.”
That statement omits the fact that, with that car, Hyundai became the world’s first automaker to start assembly-line production of zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered vehicles with the express aim of supplying them to fleets for their use.
The ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle is based on Hyundai’s popular ix35, C-segment SUV and is powered by hydrogen with the fuel cell stack converting the hydrogen into electricity, which in turn powers the vehicle’s motor. This, of course, means that the only emission is water although it may surprise you to know that the performance of the ix35 Fuel Cell is similar to that of the petrol version of the car.
This is why the Municipality of Copenhagen in Denmark, as part of their pledge to be carbon-free by 2025, have taken on 15 of the 17 ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles that ran off that production line as Eok Jo Kim spoke (with the other 2 going to Skåne in Sweden) at what turned out to be a bit of a ceremony at the Hyundai Motor Company’s Plant No. 5 in Ulsan.
Mang Woo Park, mayor of Ulsan city, said in a congratulatory message: “Assembly-line production of fuel cell vehicles marks a crucial milestone in the history of the automobile industry not just in Korea, but throughout the world. By supplying more hydrogen refueling stations to support the eco-friendly fuel cell vehicles produced, we will make Ulsan the landmark for eco-friendly automobiles.”
The plan is for Hyundai to build 1,000 ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles by 2015 that they aim to lease to public and private fleets, mainly in Europe because the European Union has started to make strides in the hydrogen world by establishing a hydrogen road map and kicking off the construction of hydrogen fueling stations in an attempt to encourage European car makers to get building themselves.
At least Hyundai have taken the very heavy hint from this, and have taken a small yet significant step with these fleet cars, but they do plan, after 2015, having laid the blueprints and foundations for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, to begin making them for consumer retail sales.
It’s not all about the hydrogen (despite what this post may make it seem); there’s also the new radiator grille, bumper, fog lamps, instrument cluster and 7-inch GPS exclusively created for these cars to think about when it comes to purchase consideration; there’s the swift refueling with hydrogen in only a few minutes; there’s the 0-62mph in 12.5 seconds and top speed of 160 km/h; and there’s the single charge travel ability of 594 kilometres.
On display as we speak (or read) at the Geneva Motor Show, it may be advantageous to know that the ix35 Fuel Cell won the prestigious FuturAuto award at the Brussels Motor Show in January, and that the car “aligns with the 2009 agreement by the European Union’s G8 countries to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 and California’s Zero Emission Vehicle regulations.”