November 1, 2014

Hyundai ix35 Hydrogen FCEV arrives in the UK

The Hyundai ix35 Hydrogen Fuel Cell electric Vehicle (FCEV) is hitting London’s roads as part of the London Hydrogen Network Expansion (LNHE) project.

Photo Hyundai ix35 FCEV London

The first Hyundai ix35 Hydrogen FCEVs hit the road in London (pictured)

The Hyundai ix35 FCEV is the world’s first hydrogen powered production car (although production is very limited at the moment) and the first five ix35 FCEVs are about to hit London’s roads.

The hydrogen-powered ix35s are part of the London Hydrogen Network Expansion (LNHE) project which aims to build acceptance of hydrogen powered vehicles and build a proper hydrogen transport infrastructure, initially on London and the south east.

Hyundai are actually planning to build 1,000 ix35 FCEVs over thye next couple of years, but the majority of those will be heading for Europe where the EU has a number of projects running to promote hydrogen use for road vehicles. But at least the UK gets a look in with five cars.

And actually, gaining public accceptance for the FCEV should be much easier than for BEVs as, to all inhtents and purposes, using an FCEV on the road is a remarkably similr experience to an ICE car.

You refuel in an exactly similar manner – you shove a pipe in the filler and wait a few minutes for it to fill – performance is similar (Hyundai say the ix35 FCEV will do 0-62mph in 12.5 seconds) and the range between refuelling is very similar to a comparable ICE car at 369 miles.

The problem is, at least initially, that there are just two hydrogen refuelling stations in London – and one of those is private – and currently there is just one more planned as part of the LNHE project.

But, if Hyundai choose, they could roll our refuelling for hydrogen cars by fitting their dealerships with the ‘instant’ hydrogen refuelling rigs built by ITM Power which would make the level of acceptance for FCEVs grow more quickly.

It’s early days for FCEVs, but the initiative by Hyundai, LNHE and other car makers should start to take us to the point where FCEVs are a real mainstream alternative to ICE and BEV cars.

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