The Hyundai Tucson ix35 FCEV was selected by the European Commission via the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) as a hydrogen-powered demonstration vehicle to show off the car in real-world conditions. The EU parliament, policy makers and other high ranking officials are the lucky ones who will get to test drive the vehicle until March 2012.
The Hyundai FCEV will be based in Brussels where there is no permanent public hydrogen fueling station yet. There is a company called WaterstofNet that will make sure that the vehicle has access to hydrogen fuel on a permanent basis.
According to the Hyundai press release, “The decision moves Hyundai a step closer to the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles by 2015. Debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010, the ix35 features important innovations over previous-generation Hyundai FCEVs, including a 55-percent improvement in driving range and an 80-percent reduction in manufacturing costs.
“Hyundai has become a world leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology since the introduction of the Santa Fe FCEV in 2000, operating a dedicated fuel cell research division at its Eco Technology Research Institute in Korea.”
The Hyundai Tucson ix35 FCEV is supposed to go into limited production (1,000 or so) in the year 2012 will full production expected in 2015. With such a tight limited production rollout date at hand Hyundai will need to very carefully select the cities in the European Union Hydrogen Highway with the most robust hydrogen fueling stations in which to sell their vehicles.