A white Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle rolled off the assembly line at the company's South Korean manufacturing complex this week, as it became the world's first car manufacturer to begin assembly-line production of zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered vehicles for fleet use.
The ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle, based on Hyundai's popular ix35 SUV, exited the assembly line during a launch event attended by Hyundai management and VIPs.
"With the ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle, Hyundai is leading the way into the zero-emissions future," Hyundai Motor vice-chairman, Eok Jo Kim said.
"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."
The ix35 Fuel Cell unveiled at the ceremony will be one of 17 destined for fleet customers in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Skane, Sweden. The municipality of Copenhagen, as part of its initiative to be carbon-free by 2025, will be supplied with 15 ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles for fleet use, according to an agreement that was announced in September 2012. Two ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles will be supplied to Skane, Sweden.
Hyundai plans to build 1000 ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles by 2015 for lease to public and private fleets, mainly in Europe, where the European Union has set a hydrogen road map and started building hydrogen fuelling stations.
After 2015, with lowered vehicle production costs and further developed hydrogen infrastructure, Hyundai will begin manufacturing hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles for consumer retail sales.
Built with proprietary technology, Hyundai's ix35 Fuel Cell is powered by hydrogen. A fuel-cell stack converts hydrogen into electricity, which turns the motor. The only emission generated by the ix35 Fuel Cell is water.
Hyundai's ix35 Fuel Cell achieves driveability and performance similar to that of the petrol ix35. A new radiator grille, bumper, fog lamps, super vision cluster and 7-inch GPS exclusively for the hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles enhance the ix35 Fuel Cell's marketability.
Making modular fuel-cell systems for the core part of the hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle - fuel-cell stack, driving device and inverter - enabled the engine to be downsized to match the size of a petrol engine, while improving productivity and maintenance.
In January 2013, the ix35 Fuel Cell won the prestigious FuturAuto award for technical innovation at the Brussels Motor Show.
The ix35 Fuel Cell is the halo vehicle in Hyundai's Blue Drive sub-brand, the badge worn by Hyundai's cleanest vehicles, including the Sonata Hybrid, i20 Blue Drive and BlueOn, Hyundai's battery-powered i10.
As governments around the world step up regulations to reduce carbon output and fossil fuel dependency, zero-emissions mobility solutions such as Hyundai's ix35 Fuel Cell will become a driving force for change.
The ix35 Fuel Cell aligns with the 2009 agreement by the European Union's G8 countries to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, and with California's Zero Emission Vehicle regulations.
The ix35 Fuel Cell can be refuelled with hydrogen in only a few minutes. It accelerates from zero to 100km/h in 12.5 seconds, has a top speed of 160km/h and can travel 594 kilometres on a single charge.
The ix35 Fuel Cell is the result of 14 years of research by hundreds of engineers at Hyundai's fuel cell research centre in Mabuk, Korea.
The car has logged more than 3 million kilometres of road tests in Europe, Korea and the United States.
This first ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle will be displayed at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.