Hyundai iX35 (Tucson) Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Goes on Sale in UK Priced at £53,105 After Incentives

In a move that makes it the first automaker in Europe to offer private customers the chance to own a hydrogen fuel cell car, South Korean automaker Hyundai has officially priced the 2015 Hyundai ix35 hydrogen fuel cell crossover SUV — known in the U.S. as the Hyundai Tucson FCV — at £67,995 in the UK.

That places the first commercially-available fuel cell car in Europe well out of the price range of most customers, but add in nearly £15,000 per car of purchase grants from a pro-hydrogen European initiative, and the price to consumers drops to £53,105.

You can now buy a Hyundai Tucson (ix35) fuel cell SUV in the UK.

You can now buy a Hyundai Tucson (ix35) fuel cell SUV in the UK.

While that’s still expensive for a first-generation, early-adopter vehicle, we note its post-incentive pricing should place the Hyundai ix35 in a strong market position against the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell sedan, which is due to go on sale in both the U.S. and Europe later this year. In the UK, the MSRP of Toyota’s limited-production fuel cell car is expected to weigh in at around £60,000.

Those massive purchase grants — far higher than any electric car purchase grants we’ve seen, come from Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicles (HyFive): a European project including fifteen different partner firms who will assist in the deployment of 110 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles across Europe in the coming months. Supported by the five major automakers working on hydrogen fuel cell technology — Daimler, Hyundai, Honda, BMW and Toyota — HyFive is also charged with installing clusters of hydrogen refuelling stations in three different parts of Europe to make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles a practical option for both corporate and private customers.

Like early EVs, infrastructure may be a problem for early-adopters.

Like early EVs, infrastructure may be a problem for early-adopters.

The Hyundai ix35/Tuscon FC is based on Hyundai’s gasoline-powered crossover SUV of the same name, with customised floor pans designed to accommodate two compressed hydrogen fuel tanks.  Under the hood, there’s a 100-kilowatt electric motor powered by a 100 kilowatt proton exchange membrane hydrogen fuel cell. There’s also a small 0.95 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack capable of providing up to 24 kilowatts of instantaneous power when required, allowing the ix35 FCV to operate on battery power at low speeds where operating the fuel cell stack would prove too inefficient.

Thanks to nearly £15,000 in grants, the Hyundai ix35 is £53,105 after incentives.

Thanks to nearly £15,000 in grants, the Hyundai ix35 is £53,105 after incentives.

On the NEDC test cycle, Hyundai quotes a range of 369 miles per fill of its combined 5.84 kilogram (144 litre) capacity of its twin hydrogen fuel tanks, while 0-62 mph takes 12.5 seconds.  In the U.S., the same vehicle is rated as having an EPA-approved 265 miles per fill, at a combined fuel efficiency of 50 miles per gallon equivalent. Since one U.S. gallon of gasoline and one kilogram of fuel have about the same energy density, that translates to a range of 50 miles per kilogram of hydrogen.

 

Like Toyota, Hyundai has spent many years developing hydrogen fuel cell technology in an attempt to make the cost more affordable for everyone. While the Hyundai ix35/Tuscon FCV is the firm’s first commercially-available hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, Hyundai says the car uses fourth-generation technology and is more than 15 percent more fuel efficient than Hyundai’s third-generation test vehicles.

Although Hyundai is welcoming immediate orders from both private and corporate buyers, we should note that anyone considering one should first ensure that there’s sufficient refuelling nearby. As this map shows, those who live in the south of England in or around London may find it possible to own and operate a hydrogen fuel cell car without getting significant range anxiety, but those living further north may find it impractical at this time.

————————————

Want to keep up with the latest news in evolving transport? Don’t forget to follow Transport Evolved on Twitter, like us on Facebook and G+, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

______________________________________

Want to keep up with the latest news in evolving transport? Don’t forget to follow Transport Evolved on Twitter, like us on Facebook and G+, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

You can also support us directly as a monthly supporting member by visiting Patreon.com.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInDigg thisShare on RedditEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest

Related News

  • Now is the time for all the billionaires, superstars, pundits, scientists, green businesspeople and other assorted bigwigs to pony up on climate change.nnHere is a workable solution. nnHydrogen.nnPut some actions behind your words and buy a Hydrogen car.nnYou can easily afford it.nnAnd when you buy them, then the rest of us can get them for cheap in a few years.nnHave at it!

    • Chris O

      problem: steam reforming natural gas is the only way of producing hydrogen that shows any promise of being competitive with gasoline someday. nnThe idea of splitting natural gas in hydrogen and CO2 is unlikely to motivate anyone to pony up for climate change.

      • C can be captured at a centralized location. One plant is turning the by product into a product and using the H2 as fuel for a power plant.nnH2 is going to be produced by SoCal as a product of solar.nnGermany is storing renewable energy as Hydrogen.nnYou need to read up, Rip Van Winkle.

        • Chris O

          Nobody cares about fantasies, economic reality is what counts.

        • Joseph Dubeau

          Repeating the same comments over and over again.nIs your job scripted?

  • Ad van der Meer

    Nicky,nnAre you sure a 0.95 kWh battery can deliver 24 kW (25C) even for a small time? That’s far more than any electric car pulls from its battery.

  • Chris O

    The very high price (that still doesn’t reflect total production cost) shows the technology is far from ready for prime time. The reason the H-lobby is keen to put some cars on the road already is probably to do with Tesla’s 200 mile, Supercharger supported EV ambitions. If that takes off hydrogen never will, worse the ICE age might come to a premature ending.nnTime to act, and the lobby is happy to throw a lot of money at it.

  • Joe Viocoe

    The Model X will crush this.nnnThe European Supercharger network is already dense enough to see several chargers before seeing a single H2 station.nAnd the range is going to be near equal.nWasn’t the hydrogen chorus going on and on about how FCVs will have superior range, and be much lighter than BEVs?? Turns out, those advantages were grossly over-represented. nnnNow, the only advantage left for FCVs, is the refuel time.

    • Chris O

      I really don’t get the refuel time argument. How does spending 5-10 minutes at a hydrogen pump for 200-250 miles of range beat spending 1 minute to plug in at night and start out with 200+ miles of range every morning and the occasional fast charge for longer trips?nnOnce people realise that compared to gasoline they need to fill up twice as often at fill ups stations that will always be few and far between considering their enormous cost and every session takes twice as long they will feel cheated by the “fills up like gasoline” argument.

      • Joe Viocoe

        It really doesn’t make sense when you actually think about it.nnnThere are really two primary modes of travel… daily and long-distance trips.nEven though the 95% of the time, drivers are only doing daily… they think and plan for the rare road trips.nnnFCVs only have a marginal advantage, because Fast Chargers will be placed in locations that people will want to stop and rest anyway. So really, the Hydrogen advantage only plays to people with the ego to think that driving straight through is smart, safe, or otherwise preferred.nIn reality, that isn’t how people drive. But it is how people idealize driving.

        • Chris O

          …and that sentiment is what the hydrogen lobby is trying to appeal to I suppose. I think people will realise they will have to go beyond the range of a BEV really often for expensive hydrogen to make more sense than the alternative of cheap homecharging and free Supercharging (okay, that’s only Tesla…). Even if that’s the case they are more likely to prefer PHEVs or plain old gasoline as more economical alternatives.nnBut that’s once people really start to think about it. The hydrogen lobby still has ingrained notions and habits work to its advantage and that’s what it very effectively caters to.

          • Joe Viocoe

            Yep… I have always said… that when it comes down to it, the PHEV (with 30-50 mile AER) makes all arguments for FCV completely moot.nnnThe Venn diagram cross-section of a FCV driver would have to be an intersection between Wealthy, Environmentalist, Frequently drives long distances, and a Zero Local Emissions purist who won’t even carry any Internal Combustion Engine even if only running when out of the city. nThat is a narrow niche.nnnThe real buyers of FCVs won’t be in that intersection, but rather fleet buyers who can own/operate their own infrastructure and source cheap hydrogen from their own industrial process… or politicians wanting to green-wash or pander to Natural Gas lobby.nnnEither way… small niches.

          • Chris O

            Small niches indeed…yet the concept is fanatically supported by the likes of Toyota and to some extend Hyundai, very large companies that don’t care for small niches.nnThat’s what spells “red herring” to me.

  • $60K for a car with a 265 mile range and very few fueling stations? Not a winning strategy if you ask me.