The University of Birmingham has taken delivery of a of Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell through Lex Autolease, the UK’s largest fleet management company.
It is believed the University is the first in the UK to employ the fuel cell car in its day to day activities. The car will used for staff and chaufferu services for on-site visitors.
The car will be refueled using an onsite hydrogen fuel cell station which was unveiled in 2008 throught the University's Center for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research. The centre focuses on research and development, applications and demonstrations of hydrogen and fuel cell systems and has numerous patents in fuel cell technologies.
Chris Chandler, principal consultant at Lex Autolease, said: “Hydrogen fuel cell technology is very much in its infancy in the UK, with just a few vehicles of its kind in the country. The decision to incorporate the cutting edge Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell into its day-to-day fleet is testament to the University of Birmingham’s commitment to pushing boundaries and trailblazing new technology.”
Stuart Richards, director of hospitality and accommodation services at the university, said: “We are in a unique position here on our main campus in Edgbaston, with our own hydrogen refuelling station making it possible to employ new technologies such as the hydrogen fuel cell cars in our day-to-day activities.
“The university has long been renowned for pioneering research which results in practical applications to improve people’s lives and the use of this car as part of our regular fleet is a tangible example of how scientific research can be turned into reality.”
Hyundai Motor has been developing and pioneering fuel cell electric vehicle technology since 1998. It was the world’s first car manufacturer to bring a fuel cell vehicle to market and make it commercially available, with mass production of the ix35 Fuel Cell starting in 2013. Since 2014, they have delivered vehicles to a number of customers across both the private and public sectors.
Robin Hayles for Hyundai Motor UK said: “We are very proud to be delivering this vehicle to the University of Birmingham, not only because of the university’s renowned experience within the hydrogen field but also as the vehicle will play a role in the day-to-day activity of the university’s existing fleet.
“The ix35 Fuel Cell offers the same practicality, performance, safety levels and driving experience that you would expect from a petrol or diesel powered vehicle – but with zero tailpipe emissions. We are also pleased to be building on our existing relationship with Lex Autolease and look forward to playing a significant role in increasing the number of ultra-low emission vehicles within the UK’s fleet sector.”