By Philippe Crowe

Last week in London, Hyundai showcased its latest-generation hydrogen fuel-cell technology which it aims to launch to select fleets this year, ramp toward volume production by 2015, and along the way the technology will find its way to the U.S.

The occasion was the “Investing in Future Transport” conference held at London’s City Hall and the news was given by Dr. Sae Hoon Kim, Hyundai’s principal fuel cell research engineer to an audience of policy makers, investors and industry representatives.

To these decision makers, he explained the company’s sustainable future mobility strategy and presented its zero-emission Hyundai ix35 (Tucson) fuel-cell electric vehicle.

Kit Malthouse, deputy mayor of London and chairman of the London Hydrogen Partnership stands by the Hyundai ix35 hydrogen fuel cell car.

The ix35 FCEV is Hyundai's third-generation fuel cell vehicle. The company says it presents a strong case for being a truly viable everyday car, retaining the safety, equipment, convenience and performance of the conventionally-powered ix35, yet producing zero exhaust emissions.

Equipped with a 100-kw fuel cell stack and two hydrogen storage tanks capable of operation down to -25 degrees Celsius, the ix35 FCEV can travel a total of 325 miles on a single refueling and reach a maximum speed of 100 mph.

Last year Hyundai Motor Group signed a memorandum of understanding with four Northern European countries to operate test fleets of FCEVs following tests already done in Korea and Copenhagen. Hyundai did not elaborate on how those went, but they obviously went OK.

In London last week it was said plans are to take it to the next step and commercialize the ix35 FCEV by the end of 2012 with an initial production run of 1,000 fuel cell vehicles. Hyundai will supply fuel cell vehicles to government and private fleets leading up to mass production, scheduled for 2015.

Among those who tested the hydrogen-powered car last week was Kit Malthouse, deputy mayor of London for Business and Enterprise and chairman of the London Hydrogen Partnership.

Posted September 2011, this outlines more pros and cons as Londoners look to a sustainable future.

From February 2012

“I am really glad that Hyundai is making such a commitment to hydrogen because I firmly believe that it is a vital part of the energy future of the globe, particularly where vehicles are concerned,” said Malthouse. “It solves all sorts of problems; oil dependency and emissions; but aside from everything else, you can’t stop the advance of technology and the fuel cell is the future of mobile power. Finding a company that has the courage to make such a commitment so early is fantastic.”

Also present at the conference was Dr. Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power, a company which – along with Hyundai – is involved in a project to ensure the UK is well positioned for the commercial roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. The program – UKH2Mobility – brings together three government departments and industrial participants from the utility, gas, infrastructure and global car manufacturing sectors to evaluate the potential for hydrogen as a fuel for Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles in the UK.

Hyundai did not talk about price, although it has taken steps to cut costs and says this can be viable. Also needed will be more refueling locations and the cars in first fleet applications will continue to have range focused around limited hydrogen stations.