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ACT government purchases 20 Hyundai FCEVs

Clean and green: The Hyundai FCEV will make up a fleet of 20 vehicles as a part of the ACT government’s Renewable Transport Fuels Test Berth, and will replace the current ix35 Fuel Cell (pictured) as Hyundai’s hydrogen-powered model.

Twenty Hyundai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles bought as part of green initiative

Hyundai logo30 Aug 2016

By ROBBIE WALLIS

THE Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government has put in the country’s first order of hydrogen fuel-cell cars, with 20 next-generation Hyundai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) making their way to Canberra in 2018 as a part of an initiative that involves the construction of a wind farm that will have the capacity to power up to 1000 FCEVs a year.

As previously reported, Hyundai’s successor to the current ix35 Fuel Cell is yet to be seen or named but the car-maker has already confirmed that it will be an SUV built on a stand-alone platform and not based on an existing model, such as a Tucson.

There is currently one ix35 Fuel Cell based in Australia that Hyundai uses to promote the clean energy source, however a larger fleet could help pave the way to creating a proper hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in Australia, which is currently lacking.

There is one hydrogen refuelling station in Australia based at Hyundai Motor Company Australia’s (HMCA) headquarters in Macquarie Park, Sydney.

Toyota Australia has announced it will introduce a mobile refuelling station by the end of the year to accompany the arrival of three examples of its own FCEV, the Mirai.

The power to refuel mass hydrogen-powered vehicles will be provided by a 7500 hectare Hornsdale wind farm, north of Jamestown in South Australia that will have 105 wind turbines.

Hornsdale will provide the energy for a state-of-the-art Siemens Sylizer System hydrogen refueller, which will be capable of providing fuel-grade hydrogen gas for over 1000 FCEVs traveling an average of 14,000kms per year.

The whole process is conducted without the use of any fossil fuels and it could provide a boost for the future of green motoring in Australia.

HMCA CEO Charlie Kim said the company was proud to be at the forefront of hydrogen-powered vehicle technology in Australia.

“Hyundai’s leadership in hydrogen has been rewarded with a contract to supply 20 of our next-generation hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to the ACT government,” he said.

“We commend the vision and ambition of everyone responsible for the Renewable Transport Fuels Test Birth and Hornsdale Wind Farm Stage 3. We hope this brilliant project inspires others to see the potential of hydrogen as a future fuel for our cars. This first small step toward a zero-emissions transport solution for Australia is very significant and we are proud to be involved.” The current ix35, and future FCEV, work by converting hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, with water being the only by-product emitted from its exhaust pipe.

For the ix35, compressed hydrogen is stored in its hydrogen fuel tank before being pumped to a fuel-cell stack located under the bonnet, where it mixes with oxygen drawn in through the front of the car and is then converted to electricity.

This energy then supplies the single electric induction motor at the front axle in real time, producing 100kW and 300Nm to power the front wheels.

The tank in the ix35 holds 5.6kg of compressed hydrogen, with every kilogram representing approximately 100km of vehicle range. All measurements for the fuel are in kilograms, the standard measure for compressed gases, while fuel consumption is based on a speed of 105km/h.

Hyundai claims it can do 0-100km/h in 12.4 seconds, and hit a top speed of 160km/h. At the moment, compressed hydrogen costs around $10 a kilogram.

However with an increased investment in production and infrastructure for hydrogen fuel and refuelling stations, that price could drop.

The ACT government’s $23 million Renewable Transport Fuels Test Berth will be delivered by Neoen, Megawatt Capital and Siemens and is expected to begin in 2018, following the arrival of the fleet of Hyundai FCEVs.

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