Fleet management specialist Arval UK have been testing the hydrogen fuel cell powered Hyundai ix35 in the UK, and have given it a thumbs up.
Hyundai has been delivering the first ix35 FCEV hydrogen-powered compact SUVs in recent months, and one of the first recipients in the UK was fleet management specialist Arval UK.
The reason for Arval getting to play with the ix35 FCEV early doors was to get feedback on the practicality of running a hydrogen-powered car on a company fleet as, with its zero emissions, the ix35 FCEV could find a big market with fleet buyers.
What Arval found was that the ix35 FCEV – with 0-62mph in 12.5 seconds and a 369 mile range – was, to all intents and purposes, just like using a conventional ICE powertrain and could be refuelled in just three minutes.
Elliot Woodhead, an Arval Director, said:
Having driven the ix35 the biggest compliment I can pay Hyundai is to say that the vehicle drove as well as any other vehicle in its class and it was not obvious that this was a different drive train.
Hyundai is very clearly at the forefront of developments in fuel cell technology and this shows clearly through the ix35.
Hyundai are only building 1,000 ix35 FCEVs this year, but plan to up that to 10,000 in 2015, when acceptance by fleet operators will play a significant role in its roll-out.
Of course, lease costs (the ix35 FCEV is being offered for – a no doubt heavily subsidised – £300 a month in the US) and refuelling infrastructure are also key to getting acceptance of hydrogen-powered cars for fleet use, but Arval’s assessment of the ix35 FCEV should go a long way to reassure fleet buyers that the ix35 FCEV could be a sensible option.