Hyundai Drive 4 Hope Collects Handprints, Hands Out Checks

CHICAGO, Illinois, September 13, 2011 (ENS) – Hyundai’s Drive 4 Hope is the only cross-country trip to start with kids putting their handprints in paint all over the car, but these are special kids and this is a special car.

Hyundai’s latest Tucson fuel cell electric vehicle began its 4,500 mile Hope on Wheels journey through 15 states in 30 days with a handprint ceremony on September 1 at the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology ward of the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.

UCSF is the first of 71 hospitals treating children with cancer that will receive $100,000 Hope Grants during Hyundai’s Drive 4 Hope. In September, National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Hyundai’s nonprofit Hope on Wheels is awarding a total of $7.1 million to children’s hospitals nationwide.

Cancer patient puts a handprint on the Tucson ix FCEV at University of Arizona Medical Center – Diamond Children’s in Tucson, the city after which the car was named. (Photo courtesy Hyundai Drive 4 Hope)

Hope on Wheels is the united effort of Hyundai Motor America and its more than 800 dealers across the United States to raise awareness about childhood cancer.

Hyundai’s Drive 4 Hope rolls into Chicago on Thursday to park the Tucson ix FCEV at the Drake Hotel. There Zafar Brooks, Hyundai’s director of corporate social responsibility, and Joe Foster, Hyundai Drive 4 Hope field leader, will showcase the environmental advantages and performance of fuel cell cars while publicizing the bravery and strength of kids with cancer and raising awareness of the need to fund pediatric cancer research.

“Hyundai is committed to bold and innovative change to make the world a better place,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “Through Hope on Wheels, we are making great strides in the treatment of childhood cancer and through our leadership in fuel cell technology, we are making bold strides for a cleaner planet.”

The Tucson ix FCEV on the cross-country Drive 4 Hope made its U.S. public debut at Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy 2011 show in Washington, DC in February.

Hyundai’s third-generation FCEV, the car is equipped with its newest 100-kilowatt fuel cell system and two hydrogen storage cylinders to deliver a substantial improvement in fuel efficiency over the previous version.

The Tucson ix FCEV can travel more than 400 miles on a single fueling, a 76-percent improvement over its predecessor, and a range equal to a gasoline-powered car.

It achieves gasoline equivalent fuel efficiency of more than 70 miles per gallon, a 15-percent improvement over the previous version. It can also start in temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius.

“Fuel cell technology is one of the lowest carbon footprint power solutions in the automotive industry and it has the potential to be a zero carbon solution,” said Michael O’Brien, vice president of product and corporate planning of Hyundai Motor America. “Several manufacturers are actively exploring fuel cell technology, but Hyundai is making it a reality with the ability to begin factory production of fuel cell cars and trucks in the next several years.”

In August, Interbrand, the global brand consultancy, ranked Hyundai as one of the world’s greenest brands, citing the automaker’s Blue Drive eco-friendly strategy and its industry leadership in zero-emissions hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle development.

Interbrand ranked Hyundai 11th among the agency’s 50 Best Global Green Brands, a new global report by the agency. Hyundai placed fourth among the seven automotive brands that made the survey.

The Hyundai company may be green but the handprints on the Drive 4 Hope Tucson ix FCEV are all the colors of the rainbow.

By the end of September, the fuel cell car will have collected hundreds of handprints from children around the country, each representing a personal story about his or her battle with cancer.

Brooks and Foster are chronicling their trip on www.HyundaiDrive4Hope.com.

By the end of 2011, Hope on Wheels will have committed more than $43 million in donations to pediatric cancer research, since the program began in 1998.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2011. All rights reserved.