The car actually arrived at the end of last year, making it the first hydrogen-powered vehicle to be permanently based in Australia.
Federal Industry and Science Minister, Ian Macfarlane, officially unveiled the car yesterday along with a vital piece of infrastructure to accompany it.
Hyundai has now installed Australia’s first hydrogen refuelling station at its Macquarie Park headquarters in Sydney, open to anyone driving a fuel cell vehicle - not just Hyundais.
Energy partner Coregas will initially provide the hydrogen produced at a facility in Port Kembla, but the station itself will soon be ‘carbon-neutral’; operated by solar panels and gathering its own hydrogen on-site using an electrolyser unit.
The filling station can replenish the ix35’s hydrogen tank in around five minutes, but higher-pressure versions in use overseas can trim this to three minutes.
Hyundai’s short-term goal is a ‘Hume By Hydrogen’ by 2020 - a series of refuelling stations linking Sydney to Melbourne via Goulburn, Canberra and Albury to open up the route to fuel cell cars and buses.
This part of the plan will probably require government money to become reality, and Hyundai says government ministers have been “positive” to the idea.
“We are taking a bold step into the future and we hope other Australians become as inspired and excited by this technology as we are,” Hyundai Australia CEO, Charlie Kim, said.
“Because of the way we build our ix35 Fuel Cells, Hyundai Australia has the ability to order these incredible cars in the same way as we order any new Hyundai cars. We hope to work with governments on all levels to make the technology more widespread.”
The official range is 594km on a tank of hydrogen - but the ix35 managed 700km in a world record-setting drive midway through last year across Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
Australia’s single left-hand-drive ix35 Fuel Cell is for demonstration and development purposes only at present, but Hyundai hopes to sell or lease its next-generation version of the same model to the public locally from 2018.
By then, right-hand-drive production on the ix35 Fuel Cell will have begun.