The zero-emission Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell has been awarded the prestigious FuturAuto accolade at the 2013 Brussels Motor Show. The ix35 Fuel Cell was selected as the winner for becoming the first mass-produced, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle commercially available.
The award, in its 12th year, celebrates technological innovation in the automotive industry and is selected by a respected panel of journalists from the Belgian Automotive Press Union (UJBA).
From a list of 16 highly regarded candidates, the judges selected a five-strong shortlist which included innovations from Hyundai, Bosch, Mazda, Mercedes Benz and Volvo.
Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO at Hyundai Motor Europe, commented: “Hyundai truly believes that hydrogen is the fuel of the future. It demonstrates the same benefits in terms of range and refuelling as an internal combustion-powered vehicle, but emits no harmful emissions, only water. Hyundai will continue to invest in the promotion of hydrogen and the growing refuelling infrastructure, to help create a society with sustainable energy supply and zero-emission road transportation.”
Series production of Hyundai’s ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle will start at the company’s Ulsan manufacturing plant in Korea in January 2013, making Hyundai the first automaker to begin commercial production of a hydrogen-powered vehicle.
Hyundai plans to manufacture 1.000 units of the hydrogen-powered ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles by 2015, targeted predominantly at public sector and private fleets, with limited mass production of 10.000 units beyond 2015. Hyundai has already signed contracts to lease the ix35 Fuel Cell to municipal fleets in Denmark and Sweden. Additionally, the EU Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) in Brussels has been providing since October 2011 Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell fleet to EU policy makers and the public in order to demonstrate the market readiness of the fuel cell technology.
Hyundai’s third-generation fuel cell vehicle, based on the ix35 compact SUV, is equipped with a 100kW fuel cell stack and two hydrogen storage tanks, with a total capacity of 564kg. This amount of stored hydrogen enables the ix35 Fuel Cell to travel a total of 588km on a single refuel. Maximum speed is 160 km/h, and it can reliably start in temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius (-25°C). The energy developed is stored in a 24 kW lithium-polymer battery.