Who put the high price in Hydrogen?

110515I spluttered into my cornflakes when I first saw the cost of the new Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell.

It’s just over £53k (and that’s with the help of a grant from the HyFive consortium, who are dedicated to promoting hydrogen technology).

Will anyone want one of these terrific and innovative cars at this price (as I clear up the golden flakes from the breakfast table)? Really?

But hold on a second. New technology always comes to the car industry at a high price but works its way downwards as adoption quickens and the cost of production comes down.

New technology always come to the car industry at a high price.

It was only a few years ago that people were admiring the abilities of the Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid (four-wheel drive, 0-62mph in 5.8s, electric only drive ability, 48g/km) but questioning its pricing (only slightly shy of the Hyundai as it happens).

But for those involved in green industries it was a no-brainer, especially if they cash-rich enough to buy the car outright and take advantage of 100% write down allowances.

It was a car they wanted for all the right reasons.

And I think that’s the same with the new Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell. I’m very excited by this technology. The car produces zero tailpipe emissions and yet has a range of over 350 miles – compare that to a zero tailpipe emission electric car.

And yet the driving experience is brilliant: on-off torque (like an EV) but with the high up driving experience of an SUV and quietness of no internal combustion engine. It’s really very relaxing.

It’s a fact that’s been picked up by green campaigners Go Ultra Low who says its latest research reveals most drivers believe a quieter cabin would help reduce stress and improve their general mood.

If you’re used to driving diesels you’ll be amazed at the difference.

The Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell is the first production hydrogen car on the market; Toyota will follow shortly with the Mirai. And more will arrive as the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure improves.

New tech is always expensive; it might not be your company car of today – but it wouldn’t surprise me if it wasn’t on your shopping list in the future.