Yesterday in London, Hyundai showcased its latest-generation hydrogen fuel-cell technology which it aims to initially launch in the UK this year, slowly ramp up in fleets over the next few years, and along the way the hydrogen technology will find its way to the U.S.
The occasion was the “Investing in Future Transport” conference held at London’s City Hall and the news was given by Dr. Sae Hoon Kim, Hyundai’s principal fuel cell research engineer to an audience of policy makers, investors and industry representatives.
To these decision makers, he explained the company’s sustainable future mobility strategy and presented its zero-emission Hyundai ix35 (Tucson) fuel-cell electric vehicle.
The ix35 is a third-generation fuel-cell vehicle for Hyundai. The company says it presents a strong case for being a truly viable everyday car, retaining the safety, equipment, convenience and performance of the conventionally-powered ix35, yet producing zero exhaust emissions.
Equipped with a 100-kw fuel cell stack and two hydrogen storage tanks, the ix35 FCEV can travel a total of 325 miles on a single refueling and reach a maximum speed of 100 mph.
Plans are to commercialize this vehicle by the end of 2012 with an initial production run of 1,000 fuel cell vehicles. Hyundai will supply fuel cell vehicles to government and private fleets leading up to mass production, scheduled for 2015.
Among those who tested the hydrogen-powered car was Kit Malthouse, deputy mayor of London for Business and Enterprise and chairman of the London Hydrogen Partnership.
“I am really glad that Hyundai is making such a commitment to hydrogen because I firmly believe that it is a vital part of the energy future of the globe, particularly where vehicles are concerned,” said Malthouse. “It solves all sorts of problems; oil dependency and emissions; but aside from everything else, you can’t stop the advance of technology and the fuel cell is the future of mobile power. Finding a company that has the courage to make such a commitment so early is fantastic.”
Also present at the conference was Dr. Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power, a company which – along with Hyundai – is involved in a project to ensure the UK is well positioned for the commercial roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. The program – UKH2Mobility – brings together three government departments and industrial participants from the utility, gas, infrastructure and global car manufacturing sectors to evaluate the potential for hydrogen as a fuel for Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles in the UK.