The Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell.
The Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell.

Hyundai i35 Fuel Cell Australian trial on the cards

THE jury is still out on which alternative fuel will spread worldwide in the future.

Edward Lee, the former Australia-based Hyundai boss and now the brand's vice president of international sales, said not all eggs were being placed in one basket.

While hybrids are on the agenda, Hyundai has recently introduced its ix35 Fuel Cell onto roads in California.

It's hydrogen-powered, using the gas to create a chemical reaction to create electricity. That electricity powers a motor for the front wheels.

We got a chance for a brief drive during a recent visit to the brand's Namyang research and development centre in South Korea.

Plant your right foot and it's an interesting experience.

There is no sound at start-up, only a Jetsons-like whirl once you jump on the accelerator. The power is linear, much like you would expect of a traditional four-cylinder petrol car, but it was left wanting mid-range.

Power of 100kW and 300Nm is always at the ready, and Hyundai claims it can accelerate up to 160kmh and has a range of about 600km.

Best of all, the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell generates no emissions. Only water leaves the tailpipe.

But the chances of Australia getting the Fuel Cell look slim.

The greatest impediment is infrastructure.

Australia currently has no hydrogen filling stations and the technology is expensive.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia is currently investigating the options for bringing an ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle here for a trial.

VITAL STATISTICS

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell

  • Fuel cells operate by turning chemical energy from hydrogen into electromechanical energy.
  • Two hydrogen storage tanks, with a total capacity of 5.64kg, enable the vehicle to travel a total of 594km on a single charge.
  • Power is 100kW and 300Nm of torque is available from zero rpm.
  • Hyundai was the first carmaker to begin commercial production of a hydrogen-powered vehicle.

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