Hyundai Celebrates World’s First Assembly Line Production of Zero-Emissions Fuel Cell VehiclesMarch 03, 2013 by Jeff Shepard
A white Hyundai Motor Co. ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle rolled off the assembly line at the companyâ€™s Ulsan, Korea, manufacturing complex today, as Hyundai became the worldâ€™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 Hyundaiâ€™s popular ix35 SUV, exited the assembly line at Hyundai Motorâ€™s Plant No. 5 during a launch event attended by Hyundai management and VIPs.
The ix35 Fuel Cell can be refuelled with hydrogen in only a few minutes. It accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 12.5 seconds, has a top speed of 160 km/h and can travel 594 kilometres with a single charge. The ix35 Fuel Cell is the result of 14 years of research by hundreds of engineers at Hyundaiâ€™s fuel cell R&D centre in Mabuk, Korea. The car has logged more than 2 million miles of road tests in real-world conditions in Europe, Korea and the U.S.
â€œWith the ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle, Hyundai is leading the way into the zero-emissions future,â€ Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman, Eok Jo Kim said at the ceremony today. â€œThe 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.â€
The ix35 Fuel Cell unveiled at the ceremony will be one of 17 destined for fleet customers in City of Copenhagen, Denmark and SkÃ¥ne, 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 SkÃ¥ne, Sweden.
â€œAssembly-line production of fuel cell vehicles marks a crucial milestone in the history of the automobile industry not just in Korea, but throughout the world,â€ Mang Woo Park, mayor of Ulsan city, said in his congratulatory message. â€œBy supplying more hydrogen refuelling stations to support the eco-friendly fuel cell vehicles produced, we will make Ulsan the landmark for eco-friendly automobiles.â€
Hyundai plans to build 1,000 ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles by 2015 for lease to public and private fleets, primarily in Europe, where the European Union has established a hydrogen road map and initiated construction of 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, Hyundaiâ€™s ix35 Fuel Cell is powered by hydrogen. A fuel cell stack converts the hydrogen into electricity, which turns the vehicleâ€™s motor. The only emission generated by the ix35 Fuel Cell is water. Hyundaiâ€™s ix35 Fuel Cell achieves drivability and performance similar to that of the petrol ix35.
The development and application of a new radiator grille, bumper, fog lamps, super vision cluster and 7-inch GPS exclusively for the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles enhances the ix35 Fuel Cellâ€™s marketability. Furthermore, modularization of 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 making maintenance more convenient
The ix35 Fuel Cell is the halo vehicle in Hyundaiâ€™s Blue Drive sub-brand, the badge worn by Hyundaiâ€™s cleanest vehicles, including Sonata Hybrid, i20 Blue Drive and BlueOn, Hyundaiâ€™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 Hyundaiâ€™s ix35 Fuel Cell will become a driving force of change. The ix35 Fuel Cell aligns with the 2009 agreement by the European Unionâ€™s G8 countries to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 and Californiaâ€™s Zero Emission Vehicle regulations.