Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell long-term test review: refueling is child’s play

“You are wrong and that won’t be around to worry about it,” laughed the man shows me how to use a hydrogen refueling station.

He was joking, I think, but it seems to be the default configuration in any of to discuss the use of hydrogen as a fuel to have a mental image of the Hindenburg disaster pop in your head and feel the need to say something negative.

It is illogical, of course. For a start, it is worth remembering that the conventional engines are based on explosive combustion to generate energy, while fuel cell vehicles to create energy through a combustion-free chemical reaction between the hydrogen and the oxygen. Then there is the fact that the use of a hydrogen refueling station is somewhat more complicated that the regular use of the fuel station. And, of course, the hydrogen tank is better protected than any petrol or diesel tank – although as it has to be, because the consequences of a leak is increased.

And, yes, things can go wrong. A quick search on YouTube highlights a number of hydrogen buses off at various locations around the world, although it is comforting to see that the passengers generally seem to come out unscathed. When hydrogen burns, it tends to make so furiously, but quickly. But it is not a frequent occurrence.

The point is that the fuel tanks and the structures of the cells – like fuel tanks – have been the subject of extensive safety tests, including the multiple crash tests of the procedures, and there are several cuts designed to shut off the hydrogen and protect you in the event of an accident. I’ve seen videos of the hydrogen-filling of the tanks used in cars that fell into a well of burning and have bullets, and then projectiles of different calibers to be fired in them, and the result has been that, precisely, nothing has happened. These things are difficult.

Consequently, I suspect that I’m so sure in a hydrogen-powered car as in a gasoline or diesel fuel. And while I’d rather not test the theory, I suspect there is a half-truth in the opening comment, because what’s more likely is that by the time the hydrogen tank has exploded, it’s not going to be much more to the left of the car or to me anyway.

HYUNDAI IX35 FUEL CELL

Price £53,105 (after £4500 gov’t grant) evaluated Price £53,105 Economy na Faults None Expenses None Last seen 23.11.16

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