Tag Archive | "Hyundai ix35"

Hydrogen Cars Take to Danish Roads


The original Hyundai Motor Company, established 1967 in South Korea, has continued to successfully grow in size with more than two dozen auto related subsidiaries and affiliates. Now known as the Hyundai Motor Group it makes cars all around the world including in Europe. Last year, the company sold over four million vehicles worldwide and now it is branching out into the business of hydrogen powered vehicles.

One of its first customers is Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen – home to the TV show Borgen – and one of the more forward thinking cities of Europe. The Danes have just taken delivery of fifteen Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell SUV’s which will form part of their municipal fleet in pursuit of the city’s carbon-neutral objectives scheduled to be achieved by 2025.

The regular ix35 has been very well received and is a reliable, stylish, comfortable and versatile car. Even the entry level vehicles have heated front and rear seats as standard. This then seems like the ideal basis on which to build the hydrogen technology and the cars are the first with this fuel to be produced on a regular production line. This emphasises Hyundai’s commitment to this new power source. The delivery was made to coincide with the opening of Copenhagen’s first hydrogen filling station.

The ix35 Fuel Cell produces no emissions and only water vapour comes out of the rear end. The car derives its power from a 100kw (equates to 136ps) motor and can attain a top speed of 100mph. The two storage tanks, located amidships at the rear axle can be filled in minutes and hold enough fuel to allow the car to be 369 miles away before they run out.

With the present shortcomings of electric cars still to be overcome, hydrogen fuel looks like a very viable alternative. No range issue or lengthy refills to worry about and so on. The downside is of course that there are virtually no filling stations as yet. Electric cars have been with us for some considerable time now and yet, in the UK at least, a viable network of charging points seems a long way off. Coverage is patchy to say the least.

Clearly, it is early days yet for hydrogen but the lesson has to be learned. Motorists will not buy into anything that is going to inconvenience them, running costs aside. Car makers are building some extremely frugal petrol and diesel engines these days and we like what we know. To get us, in the long term, to switch to alternative fuels there has first got to be a useable infrastructure.

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Small, Clean, Green And Capable


In a time, long ago, 4×4’s were a breed apart. They were usually massive with thirsty growling engines that breathed out noxious fumes like enormous dragons with halitosis and an attitude problem. They were loathed by people of the green persuasion and were only acceptable if the driver was a farmer, a vet or a Chelsea mummy. Well, not any more.

With the technical improvements in diesel (especially the common rail direct fuel injection systems) and petrol engines, the motors in these all-purpose vehicles are much cleaner than before and considerably more economical too. What’s more, some models are much more compact and targeted very much at the family market rather than for, say, agricultural use. The manufacturers haven’t been slow in bringing to market some compact 4×4’s which, they claim, significantly reduce emissions and achieve in excess of 40mpg. Not bad for cars that should be able to handle general off-road conditions well. They’re not really full blown mud-pluggers but how many of us really needs that?

Take the Fiat Panda 4×4. The previous model was capable but a bit of an ugly duckling; the new one introduced in 2012 is not only very capable on and off road but is also good looking and a decent drive. It’s the only 4×4 city car, effectively, so if you’re an urban dweller who feels the call of the wild from time to time then this is the car for you, especially with emissions of just 125g/km.

No consideration of any type of car, large or small, can be complete without a BMW in the list and it should therefore come as no surprise that this German company has something that fit’s the small off-roader bill in the guise of the X3. The latest model is a great improvement on the old one (even BMW can get it wrong sometimes); it drives well on the tarmac and is quite capable of tackling more difficult terrain. It only comes with diesel options but a claimed 50mpg is a pleasant surprise and, coupled with CO² emissions of just 149g/km, makes this all-rounder a quality and stylish choice.

For something a little different how about a Hyundai? They used to make a leviathan called the Tucson but that has now be superseded by the much more acceptable ix35 (pictured). This car is a massive stride forward for Hyundai – its build quality and design make it a truly premium product. Buy it in the gutsy 2.0L diesel 4×4 version and you’ll be delighted with the low CO² and decent fuel economy.

There’s plenty of choice in this small 4×4 sector with cars like the popular Ford Kuga and Nissan’s excellent Qashqai competing with models from VW, Toyota and Honda. Although the gas-guzzling behemoths of old are frowned upon these days you can still have useful off-road ability that won’t shame you on the streets.

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