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Hyundai pumps up hydrogen in Sydney

Water feature: Hyundai’s ix35 Fuel Cell emits only water vapour, and has a range of more than 500km.

Minister applauds Hyundai hydrogen plans but commits no funding for infrastructure

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Hyundai logo1 Apr 2015

By TIM ROBSON

HYUNDAI Australia has underlined its commitment to fuel cell technology by launching Australia's first fuel cell vehicle refuelling station at its Macquarie Park headquarters.

Federal industry and science minister Ian MacFarlane, on hand to officially launch the station, stopped short of announcing any financial initiatives for the progression of the technology, but said hydrogen was the fuel of the future, and that the federal government supported hydrogen research.

“We need to change because we need to address our environmental emissions,” he said. “When you have a challenge, you turn to science.

“The ultimate solution surely is the full cycle – something that starts with water and ends with water.”

Hyundai Australia chief operating officer John Elsworth said fuel cell technology needs to meet the requirements of the modern motorist.

“Hyundai's vision of a motoring future is broad and all-encompassing,” he said.

“Australia does have a bit of catching up to do, but we believe it’s an opportunity that our country should not miss.”

Mr Elsworth also said that Australia is in the prefect position to capitalise on the merging technology.

“There is no reason that Australian skills and investments can't be involved in the roll-out of refuelling stations across the country,” he said.

The installation of the refuelling station – a small, standalone unit bought second-hand from the United States and completely rebuilt here – was completed last week, and has the capacity to be moved interstate for display purposes.

Consisting of hydrogen tanks at one end and an array of pressuring devices at the other, the station's electric compressor is powered by a solar panel array, making it self-sufficient.

It has the capacity to refill Hyundai's only fuel-cell vehicle, a European-spec ix35 Fuel Cell, five times before its hydrogen tanks need to be replenished.

The ix35 has a 5.6kg tank capacity, giving the 100kW/300Nm vehicle a theoretical range of more than 500km.

“We measure hydrogen capacity in kilograms, and each kilogram gives you roughly 100km of range," said Hyundai product planning manager Scott Nagar. “We are ordering a couple more vehicles for delivery within the next six months.”

The left-hand-drive ix35 is the only production-spec car in the Hyundai fleet that is hydrogen-capable.

Mr Macfarlane said the ix35 Fuel Cell demonstrated Hyundai’s long-term commitment to innovation, stretching back to the production of the first Hyundai fuel cell vehicle in 1998.

“This is another innovative example of the economic benefits from the application of science and research to an industry setting,” he said.

“The Australian government is facilitating this type of collaboration through the five Industry Growth Centres which are being established in Australia’s areas of competitive strength, including advanced manufacturing.”

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