|ix35 Fuel Cell. Click to enlarge.|
In December 2012, Hyundai will begin production of the ix35 Fuel Cell crossover vehicle at its Ulsan manufacturing facility in Korea, with a target of building up to 1,000 vehicles by 2015. Hyundai called the ix35 Fuel Cell its “halo vehicle” in the Blue Drive sub-brand, the badge worn by Hyundai’s cleanest vehicles, including Sonata Hybrid, i20 Blue Drive and BlueOn, Hyundai’s battery-powered i10.
Hyundai has already signed contracts with cities in Denmark and Sweden to lease the ix35 Fuel Cell to municipal fleets. Beyond 2015, Hyundai plans limited mass production of the ix35 Fuel Cell, with a goal of 10,000 units; Hyundai will also introduce the vehicle in Korea and California.
|ix35 fuel cell powertrain layout. Click to enlarge.|
The fuel economy and range of the ix35 Fuel Cell have improved by 10% over the previous-generation model. In a presentation on Hyundai’s fuel cell technology at the US Department of Energy (DOE) Merit Review in May 2012, John Juriga, Director of Powertrain Hyundai / Kia America Technical Center, said that the fuel cell system in the ix35 achieves a power density of more than 640 W/L (DOE target is 650 W/L). Size reduction of the system has been achieved through modularization.
|Exploded view of the ix35 fuel cell stack. Click to enlarge.|
The fuel cell stack—which uses a low-cost bipolar plate and gasket material—itself has a power density of 1.65 kW/L. Operating voltage is 50~450V, and maximum cold-start ability is -30 °C (-22 °F).
Unlike other fuel cell vehicles that use compressed air to supply oxygen to the fuel cell stack, Hyundai’s ix35 Fuel Cell uses ambient air. This reduces parasitic loss in the oxygen supply, raising fuel efficiency and reducing power consumption by 50%. For passengers, the elimination of an air compressor reduces noise inside the cabin.
|The ix35 Fuel Cell Specifications|
|Length; width; height||4,410 mm; 1,820 mm; 1,655 mm|
|Fuel consumption||0.96 kgH2/100 km|
|Fuel cell output power||100 kW|
|Fuel storage||700 bar, 5.6 kg|
|Top speed||160 km/h (100 mph)|
|Acceleration||0 to 100 km/h in 12.5 seconds|
In addition to the fuel cell stack, the ix35 Fuel Cell uses the same lithium-polymer battery found in the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. A kinetic energy regeneration system charges the battery when the driver applies the brakes or drives downhill.
|Under the hood. Click to enlarge.|
The ix35 Fuel Cell is equipped with stop/start technology, which shuts down the fuel cell stack and relies on battery power only when the vehicle is idling, minimizing energy loss in city driving.
Hyundai’s ix35 Fuel Cell offers drivability and performance similar to that of the gasoline-powered ix35. The ix35 Fuel Cell can be filled with hydrogen in only a few minutes. It accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 12.5 seconds, has a top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph) and can travel 588 km (365 miles) without refueling.
Hyundai chose its popular ix35 as the first vehicle for its fuel cell technology. The ix35 is Hyundai’s second-best-selling car in Europe, behind only i30, and was one of the first to display Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design identity.
Hyundai said it was encouraged by the actions of several governments, especially in Europe, that have created detailed roadmaps for building a hydrogen infrastructure and are providing necessary funds. Hydrogen fueling stations exist in several European nations and additional ones are being built and planned. Expansion of fueling stations is also anticipated in Korea and California, and Hyundai will supply its ix35 Fuel Cell to public and private fleets there, as well.
Hyundai’s ix35 Fuel Cell is currently participating in the European Hydrogen Road Tour, organized by the European demonstration programme, H2moves. The Road Tour is a multi-city, pan-European display of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology, which has stopped in Paris during the motor show.
The ix35 Fuel Cell is the result of 14 years and significant financial investment in research and development by hundreds of engineers at Hyundai’s fuel cell R&D center in Mabuk, Korea. The car has logged more than 2 million miles of road tests in real-world conditions in Europe, Korea and the US.
Hyundai’s fuel cell program is based at its Eco-Technology Research Institute in Mabuk, Korea, about 45 minutes south of Seoul. The program was launched in 1998 with a roadmap targeting series production of fuel cell vehicles by the end of 2012 and consumer sales by 2015.
The mission of the Mabuk research centre is to create commercially viable, zero-emissions vehicles. The ix35 Fuel Cell achieves that goal, providing a clear choice for public and private fleets.—Dr. Tae Won Lim, Managing Director of fuel cell R&D
Hyundai Motor Group’s Development of the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle; John Juriga, Director of Powertrain Hyundai / Kia America Technical Center. DOE Merit Review 2012