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Petrol isn’t good for the environment, and it is on its way out. You’ve heard of solar cars, electric cars, and soon you’ll be able to drive a water car, with Hyundai showing Australia what it believes will be the next generation of clean cars.

A world without a dependency on fossil fuels for automobiles may well be coming, finally, with electric cars already in the market about to be joined by a new kind of clean car.

That car is one that can emit water vapour instead of black smog, as Hyundai delivers the first generation of a hydrogen-based car to Australia to start demos for the technology.

“In February 2013, Hyundai Motor Company became the first automobile manufacturer in the world to begin mass-production of a hydrogen-powered vehicle – the ix35 Fuel Cell,” said Mr Charlie Kim, Chief Executive Officer at Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA).

“This gave HMCA the ability to order a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle in the same way as we order any other new Hyundai car,” said Kim. “Now we have one, and we believe this fantastic car will help demonstrate the potential of hydrogen as a green transport solution for Australia.”

The technology isn’t one specific to Hyundai, with BMW showing one years ago, and the technology worked on by the likes of Honda, Mercedes-Benz, and General Motors, to name but a few, but Hyundai’s importing of a hydrogen car signals that the company is getting ready for an actual release, with a view to getting the cars out into the world before the end of the current decade, 2020.

“Ultimately, we see no reason why Australians should not enjoy the same environmental solutions as consumers in other markets,” said Kim.

One of the solutions is a highway equipped with several hydrogen fuel pumps, making it viable for owners of these cars to drive the stretch of the road without fear of running out of fuel, because if it happens, you’ll find the car will keep some charge and allow a small distance with the battery, but that the car will need fuel for serious range.

“We are not a political entity, nor are we aligned with any political party,” continued Kim, “however, we have seen in other countries that governments play a crucial role in developing hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.” To that end, HMCA’s Fuel Cell Team has visited Canberra on a number of occasions over the last two years to brief Federal Ministers about our hydrogen car. The reaction has been very positive.

“One of our proposals was the ‘Hume by Hydrogen’, which could link Australia’s two largest cities via the nation’s capital. It would require refuelling stations in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and in between, and could see hydrogen vehicles, including buses, running on the Hydrogen Highway emitting nothing but water vapour.”

As for how the engine works, a question you’re probably interested in, Hyundai has sent through a little infographic which we’re showing below, but basically, we’re talking about a reaction of air and hydrogen in the fuel cell generating electricity and water, with the water being sent out the back of the car and the electricity being used to power the motor.

This means the car is powered not by any of the stuff found at the local bowser, but rather a specific hydrogen-based fuel, and for the initial demo cars, Hyundai has built a hydrogen refuelling station (HRS) in Macquarie Park that will take fuel produced by Coregas Australia, with a view to building a special hydrogen fuel creation pump in Australia that will make the hydrogen-based petrol solely using solar power.