”When you have tried this car you immediately fall in love. It is completely silent and only leaves you a small puddle of water. It is difficult not to be amazed”, Lars Reuther, Head of Department of the Social Service Center at Nørrebro in Copenhagen, says. In March 2017 his department replaced one of their two conventional cars with a Hyundai iX35 FCEV to contribute to the goal of cleaner and greener transport in Copenhagen.
In the beginning the employees were a bit hesitant towards the new car. Surprisingly enough it was not the hydrogen and fuel cell system that created the fuzz but rather the fact that the car has an automatic transmission: ”The automatic transmission was the biggest challenge to overcome for my colleagues. Most people in Denmark run a manual shift gear at home. They have gotten used to the automatic transmission now, and now we just think about it as an ordinary car – which in many ways must be considered a great success”, Lars Reuther says.
The car is used on a daily basis by around 40-50 employees who can book it in the booking system for work related journeys. It is mainly used for long trips, and the Social Service Center has a lot of these, since they have a special task force working with vulnerable children and families. “When a child is moved to another family or taken into a family care program it is not around the corner but often far away in other cities. We do follow-up visits and here the FCEV is a good investment”, Lars Reuther tells. The driving range is one of the biggest advantages of FCEVs. A Hyundai iX35 FCEV can drive around 500 km per filling and the new generation of Hyundai FCEVs are expected to drive up to 800 km per refueling.
Copenhagen Municipality currently owns 19 FCEVs. The Hyundai iX35 from Social Service Center Nørrebro is the first car deployed through the H2ME-2 project. Copenhagen Municipality is participating in the H2ME-2 project as project partner and will over the next year investigate the need for further FCEVs in their fleet to reach the climate goals set by the Mayor to secure greener, zero-emission transportation in the Danish capital. In many cases battery electric vehicles are more suitable and price friendly, since the driving pattern of most municipality workers are short-distance trips. But when it comes to long-distance journeys or heavy-duty transport FCEVs can be the right solution.
Lars Reuther is rooting for Social Service Center Nørrebro to stay on the hydrogren trail:
”New cars are always wonderful, but this one is something special. I am excited to be a hydrogen pioneer and as part as Copenhagen Municipality we also have a special responsibility to be frontrunners when it comes to deployment and testing of new technologies”.
The deployment of cars is part of the H2-Mobility project H2ME-2. This project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 700350. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the New European Research Grouping on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (“N.ERGHY”) and Hydrogen Europe.