Hyundai’s first mass produced hydrogen fuel cell car, the 2015 Tucson FCV, might be officially quoted by the South Korean automaker as having a range of around 300 miles per fill, but a duo of European eco-drivers have just successfully trekked a total of 435 miles without needing to refuel.
As GreenCarReports details, Marius Bornstein and Arnt G. Hartvig, drove a Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell crossover SUV from Oslo, Norway through to Malmö, Sweeden, passing through Gothenburg in Sweden and Copenhagen in Denmark along the way. Identical in all but name to the Hyundai Tucson, the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell is officially rated under the NEDC test cycle as having a range of 369 miles per fill, which is substantially more than the 300 miles quoted by Hyundai in the U.S. The EPA, meanwhile, lists the range of the Hyundai Tucson as being 265 miles per fill, at an average fuel economy of 49 miles per kilogram of hydrogen. One kilogram of hydrogen has approximately the same energy as one gallon of gasoline.
Bornstein and Hartvig said they had originally planned their road trip to end in Copenhagem, but when they arrived in Denmark it was obvious the iX35 Fuel Cell could travel far further than thought.
“To achieve this distance on just one tank of hydrogen shows the potential of this technology and the ability of the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell” said Bornstein. “I believe this is a world record.”
Like other eco-minded road trips, where we’ve seen a father and son duo cover 423.5 miles in an 85 kWh Tesla Model S (exceeding the 265 mile EPA rating by a massive margin), the high-mileage Fuel Cell trip made by Bornstein and Hartvig wasn’t made at the kind of speeds most car drivers would want to drive.While Bornstein and Hartvig didn’t drive at an agonisingly slow speed, they averaged just 47 mph over a ten-hour, mixed-road drive. The duo are also no strangers to the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell, having driven a pre-production version of the same car from Oslo to Monaco in 2012 to highlight Europe’s fledgling hydrogen filling station infrastructure and quick refill times of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
While this achievement certainly proves that hydrogen fuel cell cars ca travel far further per refill than any 100 per cent electric car on the market today, it also serves to demonstrate just how much energy it’s possible to save when employing eco driving techniques.
With the very first Hyundai hydrogen fuel cell cars now on their way to customers in the U.S. and in select parts of Europe, those who feel the need for longer-distance abilities without the need to stop do at least now have a lower-carbon option than diesel or gasoline. Until the cost of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles comes down however, don’t expect them to be a regular sight on the roads just yet.
You can also support us directly as a monthly supporting member by visiting Patreon.com.