Hyundai has joined the club of manufacturers partnering up with car-sharing services. There is a twist, though: the company has agreed to supply cars to start-up BeeZero — the world’s first fuel-cell powered service.
Hyundai signed an agreement to supply 50 ix35 Fuel Cell crossovers (Tucson FCEVs in North America) to the Linde Group, one of the world leaders in gas and engineering companies in the world. Headquartered in Munich, the company is starting up a car sharing service (Cars2Go, DriveNow, Zipcar, that sort of thing) in and around the Munich area, through its newly founded Linde Hydrogen Concepts subsidiary. The fuel cell ix35s will be available for hire in mid-July.
“Fuel cell technology for zero-emission mobility is ready for everyday life,” said Thomas A. Schmid, Chief Operating Officer at Hyundai Motor Europe. “With today’s handover of the world’s largest number of fuel cell vehicles to Linde Hydrogen Concepts, we are one step closer to making this sustainable technology available to everyone.”
The BeeZero service will operate in city zones, with the 50 units deployed in Munich’s city centre and in different areas of the city. As with other car-sharing services, customers sign up for the service and download an app for their Smartphones (if desired) and can then book cars through the app or online. There is no word on whether the company would look to expanding to other cities in Europe or other continents.
“Hydrogen technology can be a substantial part of future mobility,” said Dr. Christian Bruch, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG. “We expect BeeZero to stimulate both the further development of our hydrogen technologies as well as a hydrogen infrastructure build-up. Together with our customers, we want to gain practical insights in day-to-day operations and jointly build this future.”
The ix35 Fuel Cell/Tucson FCEV is he world’s first mass produced and commercially available fuel cell electric vehicle, so far putting some 300 vehicles on the world’s roads in some 15 countries. At 600 km, it has the range of a conventional vehicle with a gasoline fed internal combustion engine and is therefore ideal for the short-trip use of urban drivers, with the ability to handle weekend getaways outside the city when called upon.