Published October 26, 2012
By Jeff Cobb
As Hyundai has been making the rounds in the UK and Europe with its ix35 Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, its latest promotional stop is at the EcoIslands Global Summit on the Isle of Wight.
Based on the Hyundai Tucson, the FCEV version is actually being launched this year, and was a natural to be invited to the island eco summit where all things green are being celebrated, and specifically, plans are reportedly to make hydrogen a mainstay transportation solution on the Isle of Wight.
Work is now underway with ITM Power to set up needed infrastructure on the small water-bound county, which is located off the southern coast of England, in the English Channel – and please, no jokes about fantasy island for those among you who comment on these stories that hydrogen is a net energy loser.
If it is, powers that be don’t seem to notice – including several major manufacturers, those doing H2 road tours in Europe and celebrating H2 refueling in Scandinavia among many more initiatives. As various interests charge toward a hydrogen “future,” media are noting also a pulling away by some OEMs from certain battery electric vehicles, such as by Toyota and Audi, among others.
This is not to say any future is cast as a certainty, but the sentiment du jour in some arena is that hydrogen fuel cells can be made viable, and in any case, money and time are being spent on the effort.
For ITM’s part, CarsUK reported today that it has produced hydrogen power units usable at homes as well as larger units for public and fleet use.
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“The larger units can be rolled in to place as a regular container-sized units to deliver hydrogen where there’s a demand – an almost instant hydrogen refueling system,” it said.
In the midst of it, the PR value for Hyundai was not lost on the publication's reporter on the scene, who saw former Top Gear co-host Quentin Wilson drive a lengthy stretch of roadway in the ix35 FCEV – demonstrating range on par with an internal combustion car – and fetching keynote speaker John Hayes, Minister of State for Energy.