Hyundai Motor will deliver 75 of its hydrogen-powered Tucson ix vehicles to six European cities as part of the largest-ever pan-European fuel-cell passenger car project.
According to the company, Hyundai, a member of an international consortium, won the Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicle project, which is funded by the EU program “Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.”
Among the consortium’s five carmakers, including Hyundai, Toyota, Honda, Daimler and BMW, the Korean company is currently the sole mass-market producer of hydrogen-powered vehicles.
The Hyundai Tucson SUVs will comprise the majority of the 110 vehicles delivered to Bolzano, Copenhagen, Innsbruck, London, Munich and Stuttgart.
On Thursday, the carmaker held a ceremony in London with the city government, another consortium partner, to celebrate winning the project. London’s Vice Mayor Kit Malthouse, Rhim Byung-kwon, president of Hyundai Motor Europe, and other VIPs were in attendance.
“Hyundai Motor has led the hydrogen-powered car market since it started related R&D work in 1998,” said Hyundai’s European chief. “With our Tucson vehicles, we hope to fuel hydrogen-powered mobility in Europe in the longer term.”
The new deal comes as Hyundai has poured considerable resources into the development of hydrogen-powered cars in recent years, while its rivals such as Toyota and Volkswagen have focused more on marketing their hybrid or electric vehicles.
Hydrogen fuel-cell cars create the electricity that powers them by combining hydrogen with the oxygen in the atmosphere, and the only substance the cars emit from their tailpipes is steam.
But the environmentally friendly technology has been held back by many factors, including the high cost and a dearth of hydrogen filling stations, especially in Korea.
That is why Hyundai has pinned higher hopes on Europe, where the governments plan to implement stricter emissions standards in the coming years and the demand for eco-friendly cars has been soaring recently.
Hyundai has signed agreements with Scandinavian countries to participate in their hydrogen-powered car programs. In June 2013, the carmaker delivered 15 Tucson cars for the official use of the city government of Copenhagen.
The hydrogen-powered Tucson ix can drive 549 kilometers on a single charge, comparable to a fuel efficiency of 27.8 kilometers per liter for a gasoline-powered vehicle.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)