The first trial of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the world by the Commonwheels car club in Aberdeen has been named a success. Hyundai allowed the car club to use two of its ix35 FCEVs ahead of the All-Energy Conference earlier this month. For the trial, energy storage clean fuel company ITM Power provided a HFuel mobile hydrogen re-fuelling station to keep the cars operating.
The European Commission has chosen the Hyundai ix35 FCEV as the official demonstration vehicle to test and promote hydrogen fuel cell technology in real driving conditions. The newest model shows off similar levels of performance and convenience to conventional internal combustion vehicles. The hydrogen capacity of the SUVs give them a driving range of 525km on one fuelling.
During the four-day trial, over 40 Commonwheels members drove the two Hyundai ix35 FCEVs, which were refuelled a total of 18 times. The hydrogen-powered SUVs only emit water, and the mobile refuelling station produces hydrogen by using wind power. There were a lot of individuals and businesses enquiring about a membership with the car club and wanting to sign up.
Commonwheels Aberdeen development co-ordinator Tony Archer says they are really glad to have been involved in the hydrogen programme. This has been a very fantastic experience for the club. Their experience with Hyundai vehicles has taught them that this is what they will aim for in their own fleet, he added.
Aberdeen City Council Leader Barney Crockett says this new technology is amazing and has definitely caught the attention of individuals and businesses in the city. There was a lot of demand for the Hyundai cars, and the mobile refuelling station from ITM Power went a long way to dismiss the myth that the infrastructure needed to power these kinds of vehicles is years away. The city is known as an energy city and for wanting to drive new energy technologies forward and working with countries around the world to ensure its future as a leader in the energy industry.
Crockett added that the Commonwheels trial and using the vehicles and refuelling station have helped them to get their message out. He’s grateful to Commonwheels, Hyundai and ITM Power for working with the council on this thrilling programme, which has proven very popular.
ITM Power chief executive Graham Cooley says Aberdeen City Council has taken the opportunity to remove the mystery behind hydrogen fuel cell electric cars and to show the public how this type of clean fuel can be made on-site with renewable energy. The fuel cell vehicle ride and drive demonstration at the All-Energy Conference has been very successful. They are very grateful to the council for their hospitality and have enjoyed working with Hyundai to refuel their vehicles, which are available now, he added.
This comes as Aberdeen City Council supports the multimillion-pound Strategic European Hydrogen Transport Projects to introduce buses that are powered by hydrogen to the North-east. It has secured £9.2 million in funding from the European Union, and £2 million is committed to the investment. It plans to secure another £9.3 million to fund project partners.