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Hyundai to launch right-hand drive fuel cell SUV in 2017

The successor for the ix35 Fuel Cell, which will complete its 1,000-unit series produced run of vehicles within the next 12 months, will be a bespoke product based on its own platform, rather than an adapted internal combustion model or based on the hybrid and electric-only Ioniq launching later this year.

Hyundai’s sustainable fuel development manager, Robin Hayles, said the SUV bodyshell suited the packaging of the drivetrain – which includes bulky hydrogen tanks. This will continue to be a conventional-looking product, with the same familiar controls used in the ix35, but this time including right and left-hand drive versions.

The company has delivered 15 ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles to fleets spread around UK, Hayles said, and offers purchase or lease packages to suit their needs. But it's only available in left-hand drive, which is proving to be a barrier with some health and safety and leasing policies.

Otherwise, the lack of infrastructure is the major sticking point. Hyundai recently completed a 6,060-mile record-breaking continuous run around the M25 working with hydrogen supplier Air Products as part of the London Hydrogen Network Expansion project. Air Products has a mobile filling station which can be delivered to companies looking to test hydrogen-powered vehicles on their fleet.

Alex Grant

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