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Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell arrives in Australia

Hyundai Australia announced it’s imported a Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell into Australia, is building a self-sufficient hydrogen-filling station, and is trying to convince the Australian Government to create a ‘Hume by Hydrogen’ highway.

HYUNDAI AUSTRALIA has imported the first Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell into Australia – the company plans to operate a fleet of the things here in Australia.

“In February 2013, Hyundai Motor Company became the first automobile manufacturer in the world to begin mass-production of a hydrogen-powered vehicle – the ix35 Fuel Cell,” said Charlie Kim, Chief Executive Officer, Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA).

“This gave HMCA the ability to order a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle in the same way as we order any other new Hyundai car. Now we have one, and we believe this fantastic car will help demonstrate the potential of hydrogen as a green transport solution for Australia.”

As such, Hyundai Australia has begun construction of Australia’s only hydrogen filling station at its headquarters in Macquarie Park, Sydney. The station is expected to be fully operational from 2015, after testing is completed this month (December).

“Ultimately, we see no reason why Australians should not enjoy the same environmental solutions as consumers in other markets,” continued Kim. “Hyundai strongly supports the idea of a ‘Hydrogen Highway’ in Australia like those already in operation overseas, and we are committed to working with local partners to try to facilitate this.”

Beyond this, Hyundai Australia plans for its hydrogen filling station to be self-sufficient and generate its own hydrogen via solar energy and electrolysers.

However, while hydrogen offers incredible benefits as a zero-emissions fuel source for vehicles, the infrastructure required to establish a refuelling network akin to a ‘traditional’ filling station can only be done with the assistance of government and buy-in from traditional fossil fuel suppliers.

“We are not a political entity, nor are we aligned with any political party. However, we have seen in other countries that Governments play a crucial role in developing hydrogen refuelling infrastructure,” said Kim. “To that end, HMCA’s Fuel Cell Team has visited Canberra on a number of occasions over the last two years to brief Federal Ministers about our hydrogen car. The reaction has been very positive.

“One of our proposals was the ‘Hume by Hydrogen’, which could link Australia’s two largest cities via the nation’s capital. It would require refuelling stations in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and in between, and could see hydrogen vehicles, including buses, running on the Hydrogen Highway emitting nothing but water vapour.

“A project like ‘Hume by Hydrogen’ would surely demonstrate the benefits of hydrogen transport very effectively – we want our ix35 Fuel Cell to start a meaningful conversation about a hydrogen infrastructure in Australia for the benefit of future generations.”

More information will be released at the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell’s official launch early in the 2015.

The ix35 Fuel Cell explained:

The Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell runs on hydrogen and emits nothing but water vapour from its exhaust pipe. Indeed, a recent demonstration of the Toyota Mirai, which also runs on hydrogen, showed the water emitted from the tailpipe was consumable.

How’s it work? Hydrogen from the vehicle’s fuel tank is mixed with air and converted to electricity by a fuel cell stack – the electricity then powers the ix35 Fuel Cell’s electric motor. The Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell develops 100kW of power and 300Nm of torque and has an official maximum range of 594km.

According to Hyundai, “The vehicle is near-silent, efficient, and emissions-free. It is also very safe, meeting the world’s most stringent vehicle safety standards. It is as practical and useful as a standard petrol- or diesel-powered ix35, with comparable interior space and similar performance”.


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober