Sometimes it’s refreshing to get a firsthand account from a non-professional about what it’s like to drive a hydrogen car. This firsthand account takes place in Norway where the temperatures are around 9 degrees F and a Hyunda Tucson ix35 hydrogen car is the vehicle being tested.
According to Fuel Cell Works, “The car was out all night. The next morning the thermometer showed -13.7 C on departure. The car started without any delays and was ready for the trip back. The car uses about 10-20 seconds to start up and I did not notice any delay when starting from cold.
“It was very smooth on the way to Lillehammer. The car only has two-wheel drive was well on the way. Also on the private road where quite a few have run off the road in the winter it worked just fine.
“As we passed through Gardermoen, we could conclude that we would be able to set a new record if we drove a little longer than planned. So we drove past the hydrogen station, the wholesaler, passed the new hydrogen station at Gaustad and ran a trip to Hovik, back to Lillestrøm before we drove back to the station, the wholesaler. The trip meter showed 504.2 km and the trip computer told us that there were hydrogen 22 km left in the tank, the hybrid battery was charged up to 60% …
“The conclusion is that this is a car that is suitable for Norwegian conditions. It can be used to drive to the cabin in the mountains and back or from the house in the countryside to the city. The car looks and behaves normally and you forget that there is something special. It has a spacious cargo capacity and ground clearance OK. On the smooth roads of Gausdal it worked very well. What is special is that you can drive far without polluting and it is fantastic.”
Cold weather has been a nagging issue for fuel cells for many years. In the past couple of years the fuel cell makers seem to have figured out the magic formula for cold starts in cold countries. Norway’s Hynor Project may have officially ended but interest still remains in this country in regard to driving hydrogen cars and connecting their highway system to the mainland European Union Hydrogen Highway system.