Hyundai have just rolled off the assembly line its first mass produced fuel cell vehicle in the form of the ix35 (known as the Tucson). The Korean automaker announced that they have become the world's first automaker to begin an assembly-line production of hydrogen powered, zero-emission vehicles specifically for fleet use.
The hydrogen powered ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle (based on Hyundai’s ix35, C-segment SUV) will be one of the 17 units that will be sent to Copenhagen, Denmark and Skane, Sweden for fleet use. As part of the Municipality of Copenhagen's initiative to be carbon-free by 2025, they will be supplied with 15 ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles for fleet use while two ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles will be supplied to Skane, Sweden.
The ix35 Fuel Cell can be refueled with hydrogen in only a few minutes and can accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 12.5 seconds, has a top speed of 160 km/h and can travel a total range of 594 kilometers with a single charge.
“The ix35 Fuel Cell is the most eco-friendly vehicle in the auto industry and proves that hydrogen fuel cell technology in daily driving is no longer a dream.” Eok Jo Kim, Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman, said at the ceremony.
Hyundai plans to build 1,000 more ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles by 2015 that will be leased to public and private fleets, primarily in the European Union, due to its well established hydrogen road map and hydrogen fueling stations.
“Assembly-line production of fuel cell vehicles marks a crucial milestone in the history of the automobile industry not just in Korea, but throughout the world,” Mang Woo Park, mayor of Ulsan city, said in his congratulatory message.
By 2015, Hyundai hopes to begin manufacturing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for consumer retail sales when production costs go down and better hydrogen refuelling infrastructures are developed.
The ix35 Fuel Cell now wears the same Hyundai’s Blue Drive badge which is shared amongst Hyundai’s cleanest vehicles, like the Sonata Hybrid, i20 Blue Drive, and BlueOn, Hyundai’s battery-powered i10.
The first ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle rolled off the assembly line will be displayed at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.