Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell going on sale Dec 2012, but not in Aus

At the Paris Motor Show, Hyundai took the wraps off a special ix35 that’s powered by a hydrogen fuel cells. The company will begin production of the vehicle in December this year and plans to make around 1,000 by the end of 2015.

The cars will be available for sale or lease, with the initial batch already signed up to municipalities in both Sweden and Denmark. There are no plans to bring the car to Australia, and no word yet on the pricing overseas.

According to Hyundai, the ix35 Fuel Cell generates up to 100kW (134hp) of power, can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 12.5 seconds, hit a top speed of 160km/h (100mph) and travel 588km (532mi) on a full tank (5.6kg) of hydrogen.

Like the Honda FCX Clarity before it, the ix35 uses a hydrogen fuel cell to generate power for an electric motor and a battery pack. The fuel cell takes compressed hydrogen from the car’s fuel tank and combines it with oxygen from the atmosphere to produce both water and electricity. Unlike regular electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, which take hours to charge, when the ix35 Fuel Cell runs out of juice, all you need to do is going to hydrogen fuelling station and fill ‘er up.

The problem is that there aren’t that many hydrogen stations around — a handful in southern California, Europe and Japan. Added to that the infrastructure for refining large quantities of hydrogen doesn’t exist yet, and many of the processes used to extract hydrogen involve refining crude oil.

On a side note, the ix35 Fuel Cell features a revised front bumper and grille which could point the way to a future facelift of the ix35.


Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]