In its first order for fuel cell vehicles, the Australia Capital Territory government has signed on for 20 next-generation Hyundai cars.
Hyundai’s new purpose-built FCVs are due in 2018, and are the follow-up to its converted ix35 Fuel Cell crossover.
The project is being coordinated by Neoen, a French renewable-energy company, along with Megawatt Capital investment firm, and Siemens, and the $1.5 million ($2 million AUD) hydrogen car order is part of the $17.6 million ($23 million AUD) total inititive.
Being called the Renewable Transport Fuels Test Berth project, to take place in Canberra, Australia’s capitol city, to date Australia’s refueling station in Sydney is the only one in the country but the bid on FCVs is seeing hailed by Hyundai with high hopes.
“We hope this brilliant project inspires others to see the potential of hydrogen as a future fuel for our cars,” said Hyundai Motor Company Australia CEO Charlie Kim. “This first small step toward a zero-emissions transport solution for Australia is very significant and we are proud to be involved.”
Plans are for the project to use electricity from the Hornsdale Windfarm in South Australia fed into Siemens’ new Sylizer System hydrogen refueler to power the vehicles.
At full capacity the Siemens refueler will be capable of providing fuel-grade hydrogen for more than 1,000 vehicles traveling an average 8,750 miles (14,000 km) a year. Refueling each vehicle takes just three minutes.
Hyundai sees the study as opportunity to test the technology’s real-world application. Like its predecessor, the new fuel cell vehicle will drive much like any other family vehicle in most aspects of its performance such as acceleration, braking and driving range.
Hyundai Australia was also the first car company in Australia to bring a hydrogen-powered vehicle into the country — the ix35 Fuel Cell in 2015 — and the first to install a hydrogen refueler for light vehicles.
The refueler is located at Hyundai’s Australian headquarters in Sydney, which is only 153 miles (247 km) from Canberra.
That’s close enough for the hydrogen fuel cell test vehicles, with an expected range of 375 miles (603 km), to make a round trip between the two cities without refueling.