The first hydrogen-powered car set for mass production rolled off the assembly line this week in South Korea. The vehicle, an SUV by Hyundai called the ix35 Fuel Cell, creates only water in its exhaust.
Hyundai held a launch party for the rollout. A photo at the New Zealand Herald shows officials wearing black suits, colorful ties and large boutonnieres worthy of any prom. The car wore flowers, too.
We don't mean to make fun of the event. We'd be excited, too; it's hydrogen power, y'all! Though it'll be a few years before consumers can get an ix35 Fuel Cell. Hyundai plans to start consumer production after 2015, by which time the company hopes each vehicle will cost about $50,000. Right now, each costs in the "upper $100,000s," Frank Ahrens, a Hyundai communications officer, told U.S News & World Report.
Still, Hyundai has sold 15 of the cars to the city of Copenhagen, Denmark, and two cars to Skane, Sweden. By 2015, the automaker plans to have 1,000 ix35 Fuel Cells ready to lease to public and private fleets. The cars will go mainly to Europe, where the European Union has started building hydrogen fueling stations, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Maybe it's time to plan a little European tour, complete with a car rental, for 2015.
An earlier version of this post said the ix35 Fuel Cell was the first factory-produced hydrogen-powered car. I meant to say it was the first mass-produced hydrogen car. I regret the error.
Isn't water vapor even worse than CO2 as a green house gas?
Yes water vapor is definately a green house gas... Also if this thing just has water vapors pouring out of the tail pipe, during the winter wouldent this freeze possibly narrowing the exhuast outlet and creating problems for the engine? probably a stupid question but what the hell right?
Yep, water vapor is a greenhouse gas, but it only hangs around for less than two weeks. CO2 lasts for centuries.
The engine emits water and heat, so the tail pipe will remain toasty warm ;0)
Hey 'Merica Europe is beating us to the punch with this hydrogen stuff gotta start making those hydrogen fuel stations too.
"The first factory-produced, hydrogen-powered car " eh?
So we're completely ignoring the Honda FCX Clarity that Honda has been leasing out in California since 2007?
Come on Pop-sci. It would have taken a 30 second google to figure that one out.
perhaps they meant first Mass produced vehicle, wiki says honda wont be ready until 2018
I'm all for greener technologies but if there are millions of these cars might they possibly change regional weather patterns and have a different affect on the environment that might not be positive?
I'm all for alternative fuels, and i think Hydrogen is a great next step. My problem however stems from the fact that so much time and money is being invested in using a stored gas that is potentially dangerous in a highly pressurized system. Which in itself presents multiple problems, it's potentially more dangerous then gasoline storage, highly pressurized, and still requires the conversion or construction of infrastructure to dispense Hydrogen gas at refueling stations.
I'm no scientist, but isn't water one of the most stable forms of fuel that you can think of? How about focusing these research dollars on designing an engine that can extract the hydrogen from an on board water fuel tank on demand as it's needed? You eliminate the need for high pressure storage tanks on board, it's safer, cleaner, and you could drink the stuff if you wanted to.
But i guess i'm being naive.. money will always make the world go round, and research dollars will always be poured into a project that can potentially generate the greatest return on investment even if it is technically more complicated, dangerous and less efficient of a process. What would the big oil companies do if you could just fill up your fuel tank with your garden hose at home! Ohh the humanity.. who would line their pockets with cash then?
My rant for the day.. but makes sense don't you think?
Thank you, Zenathura! I've made the correction.
dameatman - a hydrogen powered car is just adapting a already existing technology to a car, I don't think there is a water burning engine.
As far as the Water vapor is concerned, this SUV makes about the same as the gas car does.
And reforming the water to break out the H2 from it would make the system too big and expensive from what I read.
Yeah there's plenty of hydrogen atoms in gasoline (more than carbon). Burning a gallon of gasoline produces over a gallon of water.
dameatman, the reason why water is so stable is the energy that is released when you burn hydrogen in oxygen is GONE. In order to dissociate the water into hydrogen and oxygen you would have to supply a great deal of energy. If you had the energy then why not just use it directly instead of dissociating water then recombining it to get the energy? Using the energy directly would require LESS energy then the path you suggest, it's call the law of diminishing returns.
Sad that we have to use fossil fuels to create H2. The tail pipe might be good but the environmental damage from making and storing and delivering H2 was way worse than any typical gas engine.
jefro- Exactly. 99% of the hydrogen produced globally comes from steam reformation of natural gas. All this hydrogen fuel cell vehicle does is shift the emissions to someplace else.
riff- nailed it... its all just a political platform that sounds good to people who can't be bothered to do their homework.
Look up Stanley Meyers water powered car which he perfected in the 80's. It efficiently ran on hydrogen split from water as needed. He was mysteriously poisoned. He had it perfectly, using low energy to make on board hydrogen as needed, not stored. The powers that be will only allow something they can capitalize one. Dameatman has it right. For entertainments sake as well, one can look up the 100 MPG carburetor which was also buried. It's a sad world we live in.
The importance of this power supply is the most significant tech advance since the discovery of oil & the internal combustion engine. INFINITE ELECTRICITY FROM HYDROGEN