According to its own information, Hyundai has been offering fuel cell vehicles since 2000. It started with the Santa Fe FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle), continued with the Tucson FECV in 2004, followed by the ix35 FECV, which was launched in 2012. The experiences of the last few years have been incorporated into the current version. However, hydrogen-based cars have not yet achieved the big breakthrough. Low numbers and correspondingly high prices combined with a thin network of petrol stations mean that most drivers do not see the cars as attractive. In the long term, however, they are definitely an interesting alternative, not only in terms of range, but also because of the quick refueling, which can be compared to a vehicle with a combustion engine.
The electric motor of the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell, as this mid-range SUV is called by its full name, is fed by a fuel cell. This can be done with a car
Nomen compare a power plant that generates the electricity required by the electric motor while driving and stores it temporarily in batteries. In the fuel cell, several of which are combined into a so-called stack, hydrogen and oxygen combine and release energy. The only by-product of this reaction is water, which escapes from the stern in the form of clouds of steam on cold days.
The only drawback is the lack of petrol pumps - there are currently only about 20 public stations in the whole country. However, the plan is to have over 2023 columns available by 400. This means that the cars are currently only of interest to those users who live in the vicinity of existing stations. This is the case, for example, in Hamburg, where there are currently four charging options.
The SUV format is clearly in trend, and on closer inspection it also suits the more moderate driving style. The 1.830 kg vehicle accelerates in a manageable 12,5 seconds, a sedate fellow with good all-round visibility and generous dimensions. When you press the accelerator pedal, the 24 kW battery provides the power, the fuel cell supplies constant energy and the other task of the battery is to store the electricity for braking energy recuperation. The amounts of energy can be temporarily stored here when braking.
While the tight suspension makes the car bumpy, it is calm from the outside and sends a charming sound to approaching pedestrians via loudspeakers up to a speed of 20 km / h. For the proud price of currently 65.450 euros, the visually successful ix35 is also missing some important details for long-haul vehicles such as cruise control, an attractive cockpit or the usual assistance systems such as those offered by the competition.
It remains to be seen how the market for hydrogen cars will develop. The beginnings are definitely made with the marketable cars from Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, and so it remains exciting to watch the reaction of the competition in this vehicle segment.
And finally ...
An interesting SUV based on hydrogen technology. At the moment, however, one can only speak of trailblazers to environmentally friendly technology. The future will show how well these cars will be accepted in the market. Here, too, the expansion of the infrastructure with hydrogen columns will be decisive. In any case, the long range and the calm that the vehicle exudes are already convincing.
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