ITM Power has taken delivery of one of the first Hyundai ix35 fuel cell vehicles to arrive in the UK.

The vehicles being rolled out are a result of the pioneering £31m Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicles (HyFive) project funded by the FCH JU under the EU Framework 7 programme.

The project which brings together vehicle manufactures, commercial hydrogen fuel suppliers and government departments aims to make hydrogen vehicles a viable and environmentally friendly choice for motorists across Europe. HyFive will see a total of 110 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles rolled out to various European locations including Bolzano, Copenhagen, Innsbruck, Munich, Stuttgart and London.

These will be supported by clusters of hydrogen refuelling stations, 12 of which are already in existence, and a further six of which are still to be deployed. Three of these new stations are currently being built by ITM Power and are set to be deployed in London by spring 2015 and each will include both on-site electrolyser systems and 700 bar refuelling capacity.

Until this time, the Hyundai ix35 will be used as a commuter vehicle, covering the 158 miles from Sheffield to London using the cleanest fuel possible, hydrogen. Because the vehicle has a range of 369 miles, it will mean it will only require one tank of hydrogen to make this round trip. The vehicle refueller will be located on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

The hydrogen station will form a Hydrogen Mini Grid (HMG) facility consisting of a 225kW wind turbine and an ITM Power electrolyser and 220kg of hydrogen storage, enough to refuel 40 fuel cell vehicles. This approach allows the hydrogen to be produced on site, from just electricity and water, resulting in the Hyundai ix35 vehicle running on the cleanest hydrogen fuel available.

Graham Cooley, CEO, ITM Power PLC, commented, “We are delighted to be one of the first to run a fuel cell vehicle on the roads in the UK. This move helps to highlight that the motor manufactures are serious about rolling these vehicles out, which in turn signals the growing demand for hydrogen refuelling stations.”

Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor UK, added, “Making the first UK customer deliveries of hydrogen-powered cars is a huge landmark for the industry. Hyundai is the first company in the world to start series-production of a fuel cell vehicle and is committed to rolling-out this technology in line with government plans to grow the refuelling infrastructure.”

A consortium including Air Products has also received delivery of some of the UK’s first Hyundai ix35 fuel cell vehicles. Earlier this month, the consortium – which includes Hyundai Motor UK and Johnson Matthey – welcomed delivery of six of the vehicles as part of the London Hydrogen Network Expansion (LHNE) project. The vehicles will be used to demonstrate first-hand how hydrogen fuel cell vehicles operate easily in the real world.