Hyundai UK is this week offering media and the public the chance to drive its state-of-the-art ix35 Fuel Cell, as the European Hydrogen Road Tour passes through the UK.  The Tour’s visit to Cardiff on Wednesday (3 October) proved highly popular, and even larger numbers of drivers, passengers and onlookers are expected in London on Friday 5 October (when media can drive the ix35 Fuel Cell) and Saturday 6 October (when both media and public can drive).

Supported by a host of organisations and other car makers, the European Hydrogen Road Tour has visited several European cities, including Hamburg and Hannover in Germany, Bolzano in Italy, and Paris.  In addition to Cardiff and London, the Tour is visiting Bristol and Swindon, where hydrogen refuelling infrastructure is already in place.  The ultimate aim of the road tour is to reach politicians, industry leaders, media and the public to help promote investment in hydrogen infrastructure across Europe.

Hyundai’s updated ix35 Fuel Cell was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show at the end of September and is the halo vehicle in Hyundai’s ‘Blue Drive’ sub-brand which comprises low-emissions versions of the company’s models.  Hyundai will produce 1,000 examples of the car, making it the first global car maker to begin commercial roll-out of zero-emission vehicles, with delivery to public and private fleets taking place between 2013 and 2015.  Hyundai is committed to bringing the car to full production from 2015, with a goal of producing 10,000 units.

Hyundai has been developing fuel cell vehicles since 1998 and the latest refinements give the ix35 Fuel Cell cars attending the Tour true real-world viability.  The ix35 Fuel Cell can reach 62 mph in 12.5 seconds, attain a top speed of 100 mph and travel up to 365 miles on a single tank of hydrogen.  The only tail-pipe emission from the car is water vapour.  Furthermore, externally and internally, the ix35 Fuel Cell is almost identical to its conventionally-powered sibling.

Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor UK commented, “Hyundai is committed to being the industry leader in eco-friendly mobility.  We have previously given ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles to the European Parliament to use for test-drives, and we have also taken part in numerous zero-emission events and tests across the continent, proving their practicality, safety and usability.  The European Hydrogen Road Tour now enables us to give the public a great opportunity to test these incredible cars, which we believe can help create a society with a sustainable energy supply and zero-emission mobility.”

The European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012 is part of the “H2moves Scandinavia” project. The project is the first European Lighthouse Project for hydrogen funded by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking programme, launched by the European Commission and European industry stakeholders.

London will host the Tour on:

Friday 5 October. VIP Seminar and Ride & Drive.  09:30 to 14:30.  City Hall.  Seminars and discussion sessions, followed by exhibition and lunch.  VIP Ride & Drive from 12:30 to 14:30.  Other special requests (including drives) from 14:30.

Saturday 6 October. Public Ride & Drive.  10:00 to 18:00.  Concert Hall Approach, near Royal Festival Hall, South Bank.

Test drives require that a full driving licence is shown and a disclaimer is signed.