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Swindon's mayor gets behind the wheel of hydrogen-fuelled SUV

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Dominic Threlfall and mayor Kevin Parry with the Hyundai NexoDominic Threlfall and mayor Kevin Parry with the Hyundai NexoWhen the Mayor of Swindon rolls up to engagements in his official car, he'll be doing it in a hydrogen-powered SUV that parks itself, thanks to a new commercial partnership with Pebley Beach.

For the first time, Swindon Mayor, Cllr Kevin Parry, will have the use of a completely emissions-free car. The all-new Hyundai Nexo SUV is so green it actually cleans the air as it goes, and it is packed with up-to-the-minute technology – including the ability to park itself.

The Nexo is powered by hydrogen fuel cells developed by engineering firm Johnson Matthey in Swindon. It is capable of more than 400 miles on a single tank of hydrogen, and takes around four minutes to refuel.

There are currently only 15 Hyundai Nexos on UK roads, and Hyundai chose Pebley Beach to be the country-wide distributor of model.

Cllr Parry, said: "I want to thank Pebley Beach for supplying a Hyundai Nexo car for mayoral duties.

"The Council takes the threat of climate change seriously. In April we passed a motion recognising the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and we have established a Climate Change Working Group to find ways of reducing our environmental impact.

"We are currently consulting on a policy that would require housing developers to provide one electric vehicle charging point per home, with developers of retail parks providing Electric Vehicle Charging Points for 10 percent of parking spaces.

"The policy would also require developers of new workplaces provide Electric Vehicle Charging Points in 20 percent of their parking spaces.

"I'm particularly pleased to have the use of a hydrogen-powered car. The Council was a founding member of the Hydrogen Hub, a nationwide initiative that brings together government, local authority and industry stakeholders who work together to drive investment in hydrogen and fuel cell technology on a local and national scale."

Dominic Threlfall, managing director of Pebley Beach, said: "With two hydrogen refuelling stations in the town – more than any urban centre outside Greater London – Swindon is at the forefront of the hydrogen vehicle revolution.

"Hyundai was one of the first manufacturers off the blocks with a car specifically designed to run on hydrogen, and the model has been winning plaudits here and abroad.

"We're working hard to become a green business, and we're delighted to be able to help Swindon Borough Council become more environmentally-friendly too.”