Hyundai is the first car manufacturer to supply these zero-emission vehicles to paying customers in the UK, paving the way for growth of the clean technology, having led its research and development since 1998.
The arrival of ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles comes just days after Business Minister Matthew Hancock announced £11 million of UK government and industry funding to support hydrogen transport. This continued investment in the sector through 2015 will expand the nationwide hydrogen refuelling station network, boosting consumer confidence and increasing uptake of fuel cell vehicles.
Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor UK, commented: “Making the first UK customer deliveries of hydrogen-powered cars is a huge landmark for the industry. Hyundai is the first company in the world to start series-production of a fuel cell vehicle and is committed to rolling-out this technology in line with government plans to grow the refuelling infrastructure.”
Among the first to enjoy operating the pioneering vehicles on UK roads are organisations including Air Products, ITM Power, Johnson Matthey and Transport for London.
The Deputy Mayor of London for business and enterprise, Kit Malthouse, said: “I firmly believe that hydrogen fuel cell technology will eventually replace the internal combustion engine but we have to show the public the vehicles, let them kick the tyres and demonstrate that it is more than just a science fiction story, it works and can be used in a very similar manner to the cars they are used to. That is why these new vehicles are so important, it is about putting the technology on the street and taking the first steps towards a viable hydrogen future both in London and nationwide.”
Promoting the adoption of fuel cell vehicles in the UK, Hyundai is part of a number of collaborative projects. These include London’s Hydrogen Network Expansion (LHNE), a project backed by Innovate, and Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicles (HyFIVE). Hyundai is also a supplier to HyTEC, which alongside HyFIVE is funded by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU). In addition, Hyundai Motor UK is also a participant in the UKH2 Mobility project that has played a key part in advising government.
With no harmful tailpipe emissions, ix35 Fuel Cell can travel more than 350 miles in real-world driving conditions before refuelling, which is a quick and easy process similar to refuelling a petrol or diesel vehicle.
UK consumers can order ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles today by contacting Hyundai UK directly. Coordinating deliveries worldwide, Hyundai will fulfil new customer deliveries in early 2015.