Hyundai hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle goes on sale in the UK
Hyundai will go down in history as the first manufacturer to offer a commercially for-sale hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in the UK. The Hyundai ix35 will go on sale from £53,105 after a subsidy worth almost £15,000 from the HyFive (Hydrogen for Innovation Vehicles) project, a European consortium of stakeholders in the hydrogen industry.
Without the HyFive subsidy, the price would be £67,985. The consortium, including BMW, Daimler, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, intends to put 110 fuel cell vehicles on the UK’s public roads supported by five publicly accessible refuelling stations located across the Capital, by the end of 2015.
The Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell is able to produce electricity via the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. The only emission leaving the tailpipe is pure water. Hyundai say that the compact all-wheel-drive SUV is the world’s first mass-produced fuel-cell vehicle. It has been on sale via centralised Hyundai channels to partners trialling the technology since 2013, but this will be the first time that it will be available to individual businesses or consumers.
Hyundai say the ix35 Fuel Cell can be purchased through Hyundai and receive the subsidy rather than having to go through HyFive.
Like a traditional petrol or diesel-powered model, it takes just a few minutes to refuel the two hydrogen storage tanks which then provide fuel to the 100kW electric motor. Energy is stored in a 24Wh lithium-ion polymer battery. Taken together, this allows the ix35 Fuel Cell to be capable of travelling up to 369 miles on a single tank. The distance that can be travelled is totally dependent on the pressure the gas is transferred at.
Earlier this year, Martin Wilson, Hyundai’s fleet and marketing director, told EcoCars4Sale that a dozen clients were looking at the car. He told us that the majority were councils or public sector bodies, and suggested that one of the interested parties had been keen to trial 20 models.
Honda and Toyota’s fuel-cell challengers are due in the UK later this year or early next. No prices have been revealed for either model yet, but with the Toyota Mirai already on sale in its home-market of Japan at ¥6.7 million, this will equate to around £43,500 at current exchange rates, not allowing for associated shipping and exportation costs.