South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai is selling hydrogen cars in Belgium for the first time, they announced on Wednesday. As the country does not yet offer public hydrogen refuelling stations, the ix35 FCEV vehicle is aimed mostly at environmentally-conscious companies. Hyundai has already sold 2 hydrogen cars in Belgium. The ix35 FCEV model has an electric engine with a capacity of 100kW and a fuel cell (where hydrogen is converted into electricity) fed by 2 hydrogen tanks. It costs 55,000 euros (excluding VAT).
“Consuming 0.86kg of hydrogen/100km, the SUV offers practically 600km of autonomy with full tanks, which is equivalent to what a traditional fuel car offers. The ix35 FCEV starts and drives easily, down to temperatures of -25°C. The only waste produced is… pure water!” brags the manufacturer. Filling the tanks takes only a few minutes, contrary to electric cars, they add.
The first hydrogen refuelling station should be operative in the Brussels region by the first quarter of 2016, points out Hyundai. Others should soon follow.
Luc Donckerwolke, the Belgian car designer, employed for 23 years by the Volkswagen group and who resigned early this month from his job as director of design for Bentley luxury vehicles, will become chief designer for South Korean Hyundai and Kia, added Automotive News Europe on Wednesday. According to the website, he was made a “life-changing offer”. Hyundai did not confirm.