Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell

2012 Paris Auto Show


  • Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell Picture

    Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell Picture

    Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell. | September 27, 2012

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2012 Paris Auto Show

Just the Facts:
  • The Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell, which is spun off the Hyundai Tucson, debuted at the 2012 Paris Auto Show.
  • The ix35 Fuel Cell signals the Korean automaker's intent to beat its rivals with what it calls the world's first production fuel-cell electric vehicle.
  • Hyundai said it has a target of building up to 1,000 vehicles by 2015. Beyond 2015, it plans "limited mass production" of the ix35 Fuel Cell, with a goal of 10,000 units.

PARIS — The Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell, which is spun off the Hyundai Tucson, debuted at the 2012 Paris Auto Show.

The five-passenger ix35 Fuel Cell signals the Korean automaker's intent to beat its rivals with what it calls the world's first production fuel-cell electric vehicle. Daimler and Honda have leased small numbers of their fuel-cell vehicles, the Honda FCX Clarity and the Mercedes B-Class F-Cells.

Hyundai said it has a target of building up to 1,000 vehicles by 2015. Beyond 2015, it plans "limited mass production" of the ix35 Fuel Cell, with a goal of 10,000 units.

Unlike pure battery electric cars like the Nissan Leaf, which can take hours to recharge, the ix35 Fuel Cell can be filled with hydrogen in a few minutes. Hyundai said the ix35 accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 12.5 seconds, has a top speed of 100 mph and a range of 365 miles.

Hyundai did not address the infrastructure problem when it comes to hydrogen vehicles. There are just nine public hydrogen stations in the U.S., according to the Alternative Fuels Data Center of the U.S. government.

Nor did the Korean automaker address the price of a hydrogen vehicle. Media reports out of the Paris auto show peg the initial price of the ix35 Fuel Cell at around $88,000 — a major stumbling block for an automaker that built its reputation on affordable vehicles. Hyundai apparently plans to whittle down the cost of that by about half as production ramps up.

Hyundai said its fuel cell vehicle has "unique operating features that set it apart from its competitors."

"Unlike other fuel cell vehicles that use compressed air to supply oxygen to the fuel cell stack, the ix35 Fuel Cell uses ambient air," said Hyundai. "This reduces parasitic loss in the oxygen supply, raising fuel efficiency and reducing power consumption by 50 percent. For passengers, the elimination of an air compressor reduces noise inside the cabin.

In addition to the fuel cell stack, the ix35 Fuel Cell uses the same lithium-polymer battery found in the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. The ix35 Fuel Cell gets stop-start technology which shuts down the fuel cell stack and relies on battery power only when the vehicle is idling.

Edmunds says: Hyundai is betting that fuel-cell vehicles like the ix35 Fuel Cell are more realistic in the long term than electric cars like the Nissan Leaf.

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