Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell farm © Hyundai

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell Farm takes off

The clever Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell off-roader was recently at the heart of an innovative experiment showing how cars of the future can actually help the environment.

Yes – you read that right. The Korean firm’s hydrogen-powered crossover can actually be kind to nature, which was proven by the ‘Fuel Cell Farm’ experiment at London’s Design Museum earlier on this month.

Being a hydrogen-powered vehicle, the only emissions from the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell is pure water.

Hydrogen stored in tanks is injected into the fuel cell, where the hydrogen molecules are then converted to hydrogen ions by a special catalyst.

The electrons (the basis of electricity) freed up from this process are then collected and sent to the car’s electric motor as electrical current to turn the wheels.

The remaining hydrogen then passes through a special membrane in the fuel cell, combining with oxygen in the atmosphere to produce H20 – the chemical make-up of pure water.

In Hyundai’s ix35 Fuel Cell Farm, this water is used as part of an ‘aquaponics’ sustainable farming solution, showing how even on a small scale, this type of vehicle propulsion can actually benefit the world.

At the minute the concept isn’t going to solve any sort of world hunger problem, but in time and with investment from other manufacturers, there is certainly potential.

Hyundai is forging ahead with development here and now, however.

The pure ‘waste’ water from the ix35’s hydrogen fuel cell is exhausted into an ‘aquaculture’ fish tank. The minerals then expelled from the fish into the water are harnessed and passed through to the ‘hydroponics’ (defined as growing plants in water) tank to improve vegetation development.

The Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell is the world’s first production fuel cell vehicle – a number of units have already been delivered to fleets and businesses ahead of the car going on sale in 2015, and looking at the vital information, we can’t wait to see it at T W White & Sons.

The Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell uses a 136hp electric motor, which means the car can sprint from 0-62mph in an impressive 12.8 seconds, topping out at 100mph.

This makes the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell the joint most powerful model in the range, while it completes the 0-62mph in just 0.4 seconds less than the 1.7-litre turbodiesel variant.

If that car is amazingly efficient, the Fuel Cell will blow your mind. With pure water the only waste product, there are no CO2 emissions to worry about, so road tax is free and the London Congestion Charge won’t trouble you.

There really are no drawbacks either. At 369 miles on a full tank, the range is strong and filling up takes the same time as in a petrol or diesel car. Coupled to the instant electric torque but no long recharge times, it offers the best of both worlds.

Just to show how good the crops it has cultivated actually are, Hyundai UK is teaming up with eco-chef Tom Hunt to create a banquet using the food the Fuel Cell Farm created. Good grub, no doubt.

Have you heard of the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell? What do you think of the clever technology underneath the svelte SUV’s skin? Would you like the idea of a hydrogen-powered car?

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