MAKING a definite statement that hydrogen fuel cell motoring is on the way, an entrant into this year's MPG Marathon is out to raise the bar in just how economical the cars of the future may be.
Unlike pure electric power, hydrogen offers a long practical range, and although still in its infancy is tipped to be the fuel of the future.
A hydrogen fuel cell-powered Hyundai iX35 will enter the UK's premier eco-driving challenge by a team from the University of Birmingham, Lex Autolease and Fuel Cell Systems, which will be supporting the event with its own mobile refuelling unit to ensure the iX35 completes the eco-driving challenge with no inconvenience.
"The University of Birmingham is thrilled to be entering the Hyundai iX35 Fuel Cell into the MPG Marathon," said Monica Guise, the university's sustainable logistics manager..
"Supported by Lex Autolease and Fuel Cell Systems, the university will be driving the only hydrogen vehicle in this exciting marathon next month."
"The university is at the forefront and plays a pivotal role in the work carried out at the Centre for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research. We hope that by taking part in the MPG Marathon we can show how sustainable and effective hydrogen fuel is."
"We're committed to giving fleets access to the very latest in alternative fuelled vehicles," said Chris Chandler, principal consultant at Lex Autolease. "What's particularly exciting about this entry is despite it being a very new technology and road fuel, this is a genuine fleet car being used on a daily basis by the University of Birmingham, not a trial or demonstration car.
"We're very proud to be working with the University of Birmingham on its zero emission strategy and I'm looking forward to co-piloting the iX35 during the MPG Marathon. We hope the event will help to raise awareness of the capabilities of these advanced vehicles."
Fuel Cell Systems Ltd will be supporting the entry with its own hydrogen fuel cell refuelling truck, which will be demonstrated in pre-production form during the event.
The annual MPG Marathon takes place on October 18-19 and will highlight the benefits of fuel efficient, economical driving, while at the same time providing a shop window into some of the most innovative, eco-friendly and diverse vehicles on sale - and even some not yet on sale - in the UK.
Sponsored by ALD Automotive, RAC Business and Crystal Ball, a provider of fleet management systems, the event will be based at the Heythrop Park Resort in Oxfordshire.
Competitors will be tasked with planning their own routes to four different venues across the heart of the country, including a visit to the iconic Silverstone racing circuit in Northamptonshire, home to the British Grand Prix.
Their aim will be to achieve the highest possible MPG figure for their vehicle of choice, with prizes being awarded for those that achieve not just the best overall MPG figure, but also the most significant improvement over the manufacturer's quoted figure.