Hyundai Tucson FCEV
You may not be familiar with Hyundai’s ix35 by name. In North America you know it as the Hyundai Tucson FCEV (though the ix35 is a newer model). The ix35 fuel cell version was a hit with visitors at the Paris Motor Show.
Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicle
Hyundai has claimed that it will be the first production model hydrogen fuel cell, zero-emission crossover vehicle, available for sale or leasing by the end of 2014. And this has turned out to be true.
If all goes as planned, 1,000 of these vehicles are to be produced by 2017, and then the company looks toward mass production after that. But there are doubts as to whether this will happen or not as there currently aren’t as many locations for refueling as you will find gas stations in most any country.
With water vapor being the only exhaust, these vehicles are quite environmentally friendly. The Hyunai FCEV has a 365 mile range, and comparable power to a gasoline engine. The ix35 can achieve a top speed of 100 miles per hour and it takes 12.5 seconds to accelerate from zero to 62 mph.
Hyundai has contracts for municipal fleet leases in Sweden and Denmark, and after 2015, their goal is to produce 10,000 ix35 vehicles. The company has expressed a desire to be foremost in their commitment to Eco-friendly driving. The technology used is proprietary, with hydrogen converted in fuel cell stacks to electricity for the Lithium Polymer batteries that power the motors of these ix35’s.
The ix35 will be the main addition within Hyundai’s brand of clean vehicles, which also includes the BlueOn i10, the i20 Blue Drive and the Sonata Hybrid. The company expects that world governments will continue further regulation of reduction in carbon output, and independence from fossil fuels, so they aim to be at the head of the pack when more people are looking for these vehicles.
The ix35 has performance that Hyundai says is comparable to the gas-powered model. It only takes a few minutes to fill it with hydrogen. Since the ix35 is the company’s second best seller in Europe behind the i30, it made sense to use it as the fuel cell model for the future.
Governments in Europe are providing funds and creating the road maps necessary for a hydrogen infrastructure of refueling stations. It is expected that California also plans to expand their number of fueling stations, as does Korea, which will make the ix35 fuel cell vehicle a more viable option for fleet leasing. The Hyundai ix35 is a logical choice, since it is truly a zero-emission vehicle.
Prototypes of the fuel cell ix35 are being used as test drive vehicles for European Parliament members since 2011. The model has been on the drawing board for 14 years, with a significant amount of time and money invested in its research and development. Since the first ix35 was produced, the vehicles have logged more than 2,000,000 road test miles in the United States, Korea and Europe.
Driving or riding in the fuel cell ix35 will not feel much different from riding or driving the gas powered model. The notable differences are positive ones, including no engine noise and only water vapor exhaust. The car can carry five passengers comfortably, and the longer range should help it become more acceptable than lower range fuel cell vehicles available today.
Hyundai ix Specs
|Driving range on one fill-up||594 km|
|Vehicle efficiency||0.95 kgH2/100km *27.8km/l(NEDC)|
|Top speed||160 km/hr (100 mph)|
|Acceleration, 0 to 100 km/hr||12.5 seconds|
|Fuel cell output power||100 kW|
|Energy storage system||Battery, 24 kW|
|Fuel||Hydrogen (700 bar, 5.6 kg)|
|Exhaust gas||Water vapor|
In Southern California, in the Spring of 2014, Hyundai had offered this vehicle as a lease for $499 / month for a 3-year term and a $2,999 down payment. Hyundai stated the deal will include unlimited free hydrogen fuel.
On May 20, 2014 the first assembly line produced Hyundai ix35 FCEV rolled off the ships in Port Hueneme, California headed for dealerships in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
For more information see our blog about the Hyundai ix35 fuel cell vehicle
On June 10, 2014, Tim Bush and family of Huntington Beach, California accepted the keys to the first mass produced fuel cell vehicle in the United States. The vehicle is a Hyundai ix35 Tucson FCEV and the event took place at the Tustin Hyundai dealership (16 Auto Center Dr, Tustin, CA 92782). Below are a few photos from that event.
Tim Bush accepts keys to his new ix35 Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle
Tustin Hyundai ix35 Tucson FCV
Line-up of ix35 Tucson FCVs at Tustin Hyundai
Rear end of the ix35 Tucson FCEV
Crowd at the Tustin Hyundai Fuel Cell Vehicle Event
Written by Hydro Kevin Kantola – Photos by Hyundai and Kevin Kantola