Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

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Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell breaks new distance records

Hyundai and the London Hydrogen Network Expansion project (LHNE) has broken two new distance records for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

Working together, the partners of the government-backed LHNE project have broken the record for the longest journey in the UK on a single tank of hydrogen, travelling 400 miles - and have also broken the longest continuous journey for an FCEV by travelling 6,096 miles over the course of six days.

The record was broken in the ix35 Fuel Cell car as part of the LHNE partners’ contribution to Hydrogen Week (March 11-18), designed to raise awareness of the significant benefits offered by FCEVs and their environmentally-friendly credentials.

The group of companies that comprise the project, which is led by Air Products, completed around 50 of laps of the M25 motorway, plus mileage to and from one of the four publicly-accessible hydrogen refuelling stations in the UK.

Hydrogen FCEVs produce no harmful tailpipe emissions with water being the only by-product. With range and refuelling times similar to those of petrol or diesel cars, they can be seen as direct replacements for conventional vehicles.

LHNE, co-funded by Innovate UK, was set up in 2012 to create the UK’s first hydrogen-powered transport system across London and the South East. It has delivered a new publicly-accessible, state-of-the-art fast-fill SmartFuel hydrogen refuelling station and upgraded a second to 700 bar pressure status.

The LHNE partners are now keen for the adoption of a range of hydrogen vehicle technologies, including fuel cells, to accelerate in the UK but one of the main challenges is the limited coverage of refuelling stations to support the vehicles. There are currently four publicly-accessible stations in the UK, including the two Air Products SmartFuel stations in London, and funding is in place for at least 12 to be operational in England and Scotland within the next 12 months.

Diana Raine, European Business Manager Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products, which has led the LHNE project, said: “It is fantastic to have overhauled the two records we aimed to beat this week. The fact that we have managed to drive 6,096 miles in under a week demonstrates perfectly the viability and usability of FCEVs. What we need now for accelerated adoption of hydrogen vehicles is for the Government to work with our industry to provide the right framework for the technology to become truly accepted by the public.”

Prices for the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle start from £53,105 OTR with part-funding from the HyFive project - saving customers nearly £15,000 off the un-funded on-the-road-price of £67,985.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car, Concept Car, News

Riversimple tease new hydrogen car

UK car manufacturer Riversimple has released a teaser image of its first hydrogen-powered prototype road car, set to be revealed this Wednesday.

Riversimple have designed what its describes as a ‘radically different hydrogen powered car’. Penned by Chris Reitz, former design chief for the Fiat 500, the car emits a tiny amount of water and returns an estimated mpg equivalent to 250 miles.

Beginning with a hydrogen fuel cell and a blank sheet of paper, every aspect of the hydrogen Mark ll Alpha has been created for ‘simplicity, efficiency, lightness, strength, affordability, safety and sustainability’.

This car is a two seater ‘network electric’ model, powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The chassis is a carbon fibre monocoque made from very lightweight but extremely stiff carbon fibre composites, with the monocoque chassis weighs less than 40kg. With a target weight of 520 kg the prototype features: Four electric motors, one in each wheel, motors as brakes – recovering over 50 per cent of kinetic energy when braking as well as ‘Super-capacitors’ to store this energy and provide most of the power for acceleration.

The production prototype should has a range of 300 miles with emissions of zero at tailpipe and approx. 40gCO2/km ‘Well-to-Wheel’ even if the hydrogen comes from natural gas. The hydrogen passes through a Proton Exchange Membrane in the fuel cell where it combines with oxygen to form water and electricity. The electricity then flows to the motors in each wheel.

Riversimple says its ‘innovative network’ design means that the car only requires a fuel cell big enough to provide cruising speed power, rather than acceleration, getting more than 50 per cent of the braking energy back, which is used to boost acceleration. 

With further funding, 20 cars will be ready for Beta test with customers next year before it comes to market in 2018.

Electric, Hybrid, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car, News, Family Car

Hyundai reveals IONIQ next-gen hybrid

Following its unveiling to the media in South Korea, Hyundai has confirmed details of its next generation of hybrid vehicles, dubbed IONIQ.

Rag Jung, Head of Project Management Division at Hyundai's R&D Centre said, "IONIQ embodies Hyundai Motor's new thinking and bold ambitions for the future. This world-class dedicated hybrid will be the starting point of our future mobility."

Built on a chassis created specifically to carry the world's first choice of three efficient and ultra-low emission powertrains, the IONIQ contains 53% Advanced High Strength Steel combined with lightweight aluminum. The new model saves 12.6kg (45%) of weight by casting non-structural bodywork from aluminum, such as the hood, tailgate and suspension components. Where crash structure or energy absorption is necessary, the structure features Advanced High Strength Steel that can withstand significant collision forces.

The new model was created with 'dynamic ride and handling at its core', says Hyundai, setting it apart from other hybrid vehicles. Positioning the car's batteries low and forward achieves a low centre of gravity that enables responsive, stable cornering backed up by dual lower arm multi-link suspension fitted at the rear.

The full IONIQ range will feature a choice of electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid powertrains, a world first for a single model. At the unveiling in Korea, details were shared for the first version to come to market - the hybrid.

With 40 percent thermal efficiency, the new 1.6-litre Kappa GDi engine developed exclusively for Hyundai's hybrid engines, combines with the permanent magnetic electric motor to deliver maximum outputs of 105PS and 47PS - engine and motor respectively. 

The Lithium Ion Polymer Battery optimises output from the high voltage motor to allow for rapid regeneration while power distribution is controlled by a hybrid-exclusive Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT).

Hyundai claims power transmission efficiency of 95.7 percent will deliver a prompt response, acceleration performance and smooth gear changes to delight drivers with handling alongside the hybrid's efficiency.

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Hyundai teases new IONIQ

A new rendering of Hyundai’s all-new IONIQ hints at the looks of the alternative-fuel compact vehicle, which is due for launch in early 2016.

Hyundai has confirmed that the IONIQ will be the world’s first car to offer a choice of three ultra-low-emission powertrains: full electric, plug-in gasoline / electric hybrid, or gasoline / electric hybrid. 

With a sleek, coupe-like silhouette, Hyundai says the IONIQ will deliver a fun and responsive driving experience, while also meeting the needs of those wishing to reduce the impact their motoring has on the environment. 

At the front, it sports the familiar Hyundai hexagonal grille, topped by a gloss-black element that extends outwards to meet new headlamps featuring integrated ‘C’-position lights. 

Inside the IONIQ the smooth, clutter-free theme continues. A clear, logical approach has been applied to the layout of control functions, with simple surfaces that make use of eco-friendly materials to convey, says Hyundai, ‘a futuristic yet warm cabin ambience that will appeal to a new generation of motorists’. 

The IONIQ’s name references elements of its creation. An ion is an electrically-charged atom, linking to the car’s clever combination of electrified powertrains. The ‘I’ is said to reference the ‘unique offering it brings to the Hyundai range, demonstrating the brand’s environmental commitment and willingness to maximise choice for its customers’. Finally, the Q is depicted in the car’s logo as a visual breakthrough, acknowledging the fresh new approach of this advanced, low-emission model.

Following a world premiere in Korea in January, the IONIQ is due to be shown during March 2016 at the Geneva International Motor Show and the New York Auto Show.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car, SUV, News

Hyundai unveils 10th Anniversary Streetcar Mosaic

Hyundai has completed a 50-day driving challenge in London called A Streetcar Named Hyundai.

The idea involved driving, photographing and filming every central London street within the 2092 miles detailed in the famous Cabbie 'Knowledge'. Involving 127 participants, the challenge was created by London 2012's Ordnance Survey team to mark the 10-year anniversary of 'Hyundai Motor UK' and was completed in the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell, the world's first commercially available hydrogen fuel cell car.

London taxi driver and knowledge teacher of 30 years, Tony Norris said: "The Cabbie Knowledge is world renowned, unique to London and takes an average of 3-4 years to complete. But, this is the first time that the entire six-mile radius has been routed in this way as one continuous drive."

Hyundai created entirely new software to capture the drive, which controlled the camera shutter based on the car's speed, distance travelled and angle of travel to frame the entire journey photographically. The camera took pictures every 6-7 metres delivering 503,919 images - that's 207,000 MB of data. The special ix35 was designed to capture over half a million photos throughout the journey with the images used to create a 6m x 2m mosaic, a digital continuous image of all London's streets as well as a 200.5 second time lapse video to mark the UK company's 2005 heritage.

The final mosaic image depicts Oxford Street, which was voted as the most iconic street in London, and will go on display at City Hall in March 2016, as part of London's Hydrogen Week.

Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy Matthew Pencharz said: "Energy-efficient transport like these hydrogen fuel cell cars are key to helping improve the capital's air quality and reduce carbon emissions. I'm pleased that Hyundai's project has produced such an interesting portrait of our city with their new hydrogen technology."

Tony Whitehorn, Hyundai Motor UK's President and CEO commented: "We're incredibly proud of how far Hyundai has come in the UK in the short space of 10 years. During this time our brand has been completely transformed through innovation, design and technology - all of which encapsulate the Streetcar Named Hyundai challenge. We are delighted with the results."

Saloon, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car, News

Honda reveals new Clarity FCV

Honda has unveiled its next generation Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

The new car is described by Honda as the world's first production fuel cell powered saloon car to house the entire fuel cell stack and drivetrain system in the space normally occupied by a normal engine and transmission.

Honda says new car seats five adults comfortably, helped by reducing the size of the fuel cell stack and the power generation unit to the size of a comparable V6 engine. The onboard fuel cells now feature a higher output and a more slender shape, with each cell helping make the fuel cell stack 33 per cent more compact than that used in the original FCX Clarity. This improvement has been achieved in parallel with an increase in maximum output to 177ps and a power density increased by 60 per cent.

The Clarity Fuel Cell includes a high-pressure tank capable of storing more hydrogen gas, therefore extending the range of the vehicle to 435 miles on a single tank. In addition, the tank can be refilled in approximately three minutes.

Due to the continuously increasing torque provided by the high-output 130 kW motor, with no need for gears, the Clarity achieves perfectly smooth acceleration anywhere from zero to maximum speed. The FCV include two driving modes: 'Normal' which provides a balance between fuel economy and driving performance, and 'Sport' which prioritises a more responsive acceleration feeling.

The exterior has been designed to give an 'imposing presence on the road' while maintaining a strong aerodynamic profile. Full-LED headlights with a sharp, slender profile and 18-inch aluminium wheels with an aerodynamic design complete the look.

The interior features an advanced driver interface with Honda's instant recognition and intuitive control, as well as premium, 'comforting' materials.

In the UK, Honda has worked with suppliers to encourage the local production and consumption of energy by establishing a solar-powered hydrogen refuelling station in the grounds of Honda UK Manufacturing, in Swindon. This station is open to the public (subject to registration) and able to refuel any fuel cell vehicle.

The Clarity Fuel Cell will be commercially available in Japan from early 2016. Further information on the European launch of the vehicle will follow in 2016.