The Hyundai ix35 fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) has been selected by the European Commission-backed Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) as a demonstration vehicle to test and promote hydrogen fuel cell technology in a real-world environment. The ix35 is also known as Tucson in Malaysia.
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As part of the announcement made on Oct 6 at the FCH JU-organised “Joint Technology Initiatives: Innovation in Action” exhibition in Brussels, the ix35 FCEV will be made available for Members of European Parliament, Commissioners, EU officials and other policymakers to test drive until March 2012.
The decision moves Hyundai a step closer to the commercialisation of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles by 2015. Debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010, the ix35 features important innovations over previous-generation Hyundai FCEVs, including a 55 percent improvement in driving range and an 80 percent reduction in manufacturing costs.
Hyundai has become a world leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology since the introduction of the Santa Fe FCEV in 2000, operating a dedicated fuel cell research division at its Eco Technology Research Institute in Korea.
Earlier this year, Hyundai signed a memorandum of understanding with the municipality of Copenhagento establish the necessary infrastructure for the supply and use of FCEVs inDenmark.
Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP, Member of the Industry Committee and representative of the FCH-JU, said: “Fuel cell vehicles, such as the ix35 FCEV, have great potential to help fight carbon dioxide emissions, reduce our dependence on hydrocarbons and contribute to economic growth. I am sure my fellow members of the European Parliament will embrace the opportunity to test the viability of hydrogen technology.”
Chang Kyun Han, President of Hyundai Motor Europe, added: ‘We are delighted that the Hyundai ix35 FCEV has been chosen by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking as its European demonstration vehicle. We fully support efforts by the FCH JU to promote the benefits of hydrogen and fuel cell technology to leading policymakers and opinion-formers. The announcement today complements the work we have already undertaken with other government bodies around Europe, and by 2012 we hope to operate more than 30 Hyundai ix35 FCEVs across the continent.”
Photo Gallery: Hyundai ix35 FCEV[nggallery id=402]