Getting high on hydrogen – why the Hyundai Fuel Cell will make you happy

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It takes a little getting used to, the Hyundai Fuel Cell car. I drove 180 miles to London and back on the weekend and experienced the highs and minor lows of hydrogen ownership.

Firstly, there were a couple of ‘moments’ when I pressed the accelerator and there was hardly any response. It happened pulling away at a junction and I thought I was going to be rear-ended. No idea what the problem was but it did it twice and then the car was fine.

Then I returned home to the Cotswolds and discovered I only had 50 miles left in the tank. Of course, instead of popping down to the local petrol station, I had to study a map and work out where my nearest hydrogen tank was. Turns out it’s Swindon, quite a slep away.

And the highs? Well, whizzing down the M40 under a full moon in a car that’s quieter than any Rolls-Royce. It’s like being in a flying pod – silence. There’s no impression of speed, no artificial roar, no drama.

It’s quite brilliant and I can guarantee you will love the future of motoring, when fuel cells finally arrives…

A hydrogen car with no emissions? Stick that in your fossil-filled pipe, President Trump

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It’s a field day for curtain twitchers. The words ‘Fuel Cell’ are splattered down the side of our latest test car and not everybody in my Cotswold village seems to realise the future has just landed.

Actually, it’s been here for some time but the ix35 is the first, mass-production passenger vehicle offered for sale in the UK powered purely by hydrogen. Stick that in your fossil-fueled pipe, President Trump.

Anybody could buy a Fuel Cell ix35 – provided they have £53k to spare of course. Remove the high-vis graphics and it would be hard to spot this is anything different to the standard Hyundai SUV.

First impressions? Well, it looks like a normal car but sounds like a space ship taxiing for lift-off. That’s because the Fuel Cell model emits a cool ET-type sound to warn pedestrians a silent vehicle is approaching!

Love it – but can I live with it? Lots of miles ahead to find out….