The first Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell SUV rolled off the assembly line in Ulsan, Korean this week, making history as the first full-production hydrogen fuel cell vehicle on the market.  The Korean automaker plans to make 1,000 of the FCVs by 2015, most of which will ship to the European market where several are already pre-sold.

Fifteen of the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell sport utes (similar to the Tucson here in America) will go to the city of Copenhagen, Denmark while two more will go to the city of Skåne, Sweden.  Hyundai anticipates that most of the ix35 FCVs will be sold in Europe due to the Nordic Hydrogen Highway that’s being constructed.

“With the ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle, Hyundai is leading the way into the zero-emissions future,” Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman, Eok Jo Kim said at the ceremony today. “The ix35 Fuel Cell is the most eco-friendly vehicle in the auto industry and proves that hydrogen fuel cell technology in daily driving is no longer a dream.”

The popular ix35 crossover is a perfect platform for the fuel cell option, offering versatility, room, and a relatively compact size to optimize range.  That range is about 594 kilometers per fillup and the ix35 holds about 5.6 kilograms of compressed hydrogen and requires about ten minutes to refill.  The Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell has a top speed of 160 km/h and does 0-62 mph in 12.5 seconds.  All comparable to the gasoline version.

A few of the production Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell SUVs will make it to the United States, but Hyundai has not said when or how many.  Currently, there are several prototypes of the HCV on the road for testing, but those will slowly be recalled as their leases and agreements run out.

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An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP) and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at

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