Hyundai announced at the Paris Auto Show that they will begin production of the ix35 Fuel Cellcrossover (also known as the Tucson) at their Ulsan plant located in South Korea. Hyundai’s projection is to produce 1,000 units by 2015 and are limited to a total production of 10,000 after that. This new vehicle features a fuel cell stack that converts hydrogen into electricity and that electricity charges the lithium polymer battery which powers the electric motor. The ix35 only emits water vapor, therefore is a zero-emissions vehicle.
“The ix35 Fuel Cell is the pinnacle of Hyundai’s advanced engineering and our most powerful commitment to be the industry leader in eco-friendly mobility. Zero-emissions cars are no longer a dream. Our ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle is here today, and ready for commercial use,” said Hyundai’s vice chairman and head of R&D Woong Chul Yang. Other zero-emissions vehicles require to be charged for long periods of time and have limited range. It only takes a few minutes to top off the ix35’s hydrogen tank and reaches a maximum range of 588 km (365 miles).
The compact crossover was the vehicle chosen for this production because it is the second best-selling Hyundai model in Europe following after the i30. The ix35 performance figures are similar to petrol-engined versions by accelerating form 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 12.5 seconds and tops out at 160 km/h (100 mph). Hyundai stated that they are targeting both public and private fleets and announce that they have already signed contracts with cities in Sweden and Denmark to lease the ix35 Fuel Cell in their municipal fleets.