Hyundai’s ix35 Fuel Cell CUV has been selected for the second consecutive year by the European Commission-backed Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) to demonstrate the real-world benefits of hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Considered by Hyundai as the world’s first production fuel cell electric vehicle, the ix35 Fuel Cell will be made available throughout 2013 to members of the European Parliament, European Commission officials and other policymakers for test drives in Brussels, Belgium.

Hyundai Motor was awarded its first leasing contract for a hydrogen-powered fuel cell car by the FCH JU in October 2011.  Over the course of 2012, the ix35 Fuel Cell was presented to EU decision-makers, stakeholders and the general public at a number of demonstration drives and public events in Brussels and other locations across Europe.

“We are delighted that the FCH JU has chosen the ix35 Fuel Cell as its European demonstration vehicle and look forward to working with them to promote the benefits of hydrogen and fuel cell technology,” said B.K. Rim, president of Hyundai Motor Europe. “We are sure that the leading policymakers and opinion-formers who drive this remarkable vehicle will find its ability to deliver performance and comfort without compromising its eco-friendly nature with tailpipe emissions highly compelling.”

Using Hyundai’s proprietary technology, the ix35 Fuel Cell’s fuel cell stack converts hydrogen into electricity, which is then used to power the vehicle’s motor.  The only emission generated is water.

Hyundai said the ix35 Fuel Cell can be refueled with hydrogen in a few minutes.  It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in less than 12.5 seconds, has a top speed of 100 mph and can travel 369 miles on a single tank.

According to the Korean company, the ix35 Fuel Cell is the result of 14 years and several hundred million of dollars of research by hundreds of engineers at Hyundai Eco Technology Research Institutein in Mabuk, Korea.  The car has logged more than 3 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) of road tests in real-world conditions in Europe, Korea and the U.S.