Hydrogen power. Sounds futuristic, doesn’t it? Something starring Keanu Reeves and Morgan Freeman (and maybe Rachel Weisz). In fact, NASA has been using liquid hydrogen as rocket fuel since the 1970s. But what we’re talking about is an even more refined application: the Hydrogen Fuel Cell, the first of which was invented – wait for it – in 1838. And in recent years, this technology has been used to power cars. Most notably, the Hyundai ix35 FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle).
With the world’s fossil fuels quickly running out, Hyundai has backed Fuel Cell Vehicles as their answer for a greener future. But are hydrogen powered vehicles really the future of the automotive industry, or are will these water-producing vehicles sink when competing against electric cars?
Recently Hyundai made headlines with its introduction of the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell. Based on the already popular Hyundai ix35, this vehicle replaces the traditional engine with a Zero Emission fuel cell stack that combines Hydrogen and Oxygen into electricity. The only waste product generated from the exhaust is water – and unlike the rapidly dwindling supply of fossil fuels, hydrogen is the most common element on the planet (and possibly the universe) meaning that it’ll be around for a while. Hydrogen is also renewable – with a little science and a zap of electricity you can split water into hydrogen and oxygen again.
The ix35 is undoubtedly one of the best looking vehicles in the Hyundai fleet. Sporty, yet comfortable on almost any terrain, since its introduction in 2009, the ix35 has simply been fantastic. Of course, Hyundai isn’t one to rest on their laurels and now this sexy SUV is getting a whole new look.
Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group has stated that: “Our new compact SUV will be a big step forward for the Hyundai brand globally. The All-New [ix35] has a bold and athletic presence and a proud stance. Its design is characterised by flowing surfaces, bold proportions, sharp lines and – most important – our brand signature hexagonal grille.”
“Inspiring, intelligent and innovative.” These three ‘i’s’ exemplify the ‘i’ in the ix35 line of cars.” That is how the automaker describes the latest-generation Hyundai ix35 – also noting that those ‘i’s’ describe the spirit of its drivers. We could nominate many more ‘i’s’: intuitive and imaginative to start.
What makes the ix35 so special is the mere fact that it is classed as an SUV or Compact Crossover Sport Utility Vehicle. Hyundai enthusiasts will also know it by its other name – Hyundai Tucson IX. On travelling to some of the most coveted local tourist destinations, such as the scenic Garden Route, you would certainly want to be inside something as spacious and well designed as the ix35. For starters, the elevated height would give you a much better viewing position.
This baby has been around for a decade – since 2004. Not too long ago, the Hyundai ix35 was awarded with the ‘Top Safety Pick’ by a prominent insurance company. Have you noticed how closely the fluid lines of the latest model resemble that of a BMW? It may or may not come as a surprise to you that the design of this vehicle was done by a someone who happened to design BMW’s before.
Any design student worth their salt can work in a variety of media but how well do you think a car translates into a blank canvas? Quite well actually as students at the London College of Fashion prove. They conceptualised clever and eye catching designs to go onto the paintwork of a Hyundai iX35 fleet fuel cell fleet which was then driven past iconic sights in London to promote these alternative energy vehicles.
We are pleased to report that Hyundai is the first automaker to begin assembly line production of a fuel cell car. This means a zero-tailpipe emission crossover with excellent fuel efficiency (using hydrogen) will be available for hire. Hyundai have planned to produce 1000 cars for the first run that will be available largely in California, USA. They have already been adopted for use by officials in the EU.
At the latest Geneva Motor Show Hyundai unveiled the all new Intrago concept which they are setting up as their vision of the future of the automobile industry. Hyundai claims that the Intrado, despite its radical construction methods and design is not going to be just another concept car.
At the moment everybody is agreed that the future of the automotive industry is green energy. Well, with the exception of scientists at the University of California in Irvine, USA, who are generating hydrogen from… well… human waste. So much for ‘clean’ energy…
A face-lifted Hyundai ix35 will be heading to South Africa during March this year. The exterior changes however will be minor and include new head and fog lights, a bolder radiator grille, a restyled front bumper and a sleeker roof rack.
The ix35 range will also be revised with the 2.4L petrol model falling away. The four models that will still be available include the 2.0L petrol GLS 4×2 in manual and auto as well as the 2.0L diesel 4×2 manual and 2.0L diesel 4×4 auto. The public can look forward to a few new features being added to the range such as Bluetooth hands-free capability, telescopic steering, an Eco switch that will cut the engine when the vehicle is stationary and Isofix-enabled seatbelts. All models except for the 2.0L diesel 4×4 auto will now also have electronic stability control.
To furthermore see to the growing demand for this popular crossover, Hyundai SA has made the decision to switch its supply of ix35 models from Korea to a world-class manufacturing plant near Ostrava in the Czech Republic. According to Stanley Anderson of Hyundai SA, the delivery period from the Czech facility will be shorter than from the Korean factory, which will enable improved planning and controlling of stock levels.