Hyundai
has confirmed that it will make a "limited" number of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV) this year for testing purposes, with a goal of making as many as 10,000 FCEVs annually by 2015.

The South Korean automaker is testing an FCEV based on the Tucson crossover which will be part of test fleets around the world during the next couple of years. Hyundai wasn't specific about how many units of the Tucson ix Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle it will make this year.

The company is "willing to provide a sufficient number of FCEVs where hydrogen infrastructure is available during 2012-2015," Hyundai said in a statement sent to AutoblogGreen. "All we can say is that we have said we will make a limited supply in 2012, and anticipate thousands will be available globally through 2014."

Torque News reported that Hyundai would make as many as 1,000 FCEVs this year, and that the car would be priced at $88,550 before incentives and any tax credits. Hyundai is looking to cut that price to $50,000 by 2015, Torque News said.

Hyundai is among a number of automakers – Toyota, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler among the others – that have targeted 2015 for FCEV mass production. With such plans in place, Pike Research estimated late last year that a million FCEVs will be cumulatively sold by the end of the decade, down from Pike Research's previous estimate of about 2.8 million vehicles.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 65 Comments
      Edge
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hopefully rich people buy into this, to help subsidize the research, and maybe with all the major obstacles related to this technology, will one day be overcome. I see it one day being a variable tech that coexists with EV's.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Edge
        Yeah, I hope people with the money buy them. Make sure a fueling place is available.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      So a $40K Volt is not selling great mostly due to its price. This car is $88K that they hope to get down to $50K. OK. Good luck, Hyundai.
        Dave
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        PS - The Highlander Hybrid costs about $38,000. So this isn't too far off the mark, especially considering the very substantial govt incentives available, which may allow you to purchase one for less than the Highlander in some states.
        Dave
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Spec
        Actually, they hope to get it down to $50k in 2015 at which time they will be selling ~10,000 WORLDWIDE (not just USA). And they expect to continue to reduce the price after that with serious volume (10,000 is not serious volume by any stretch).
        SVX pearlie
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Spec
        If gas prices hold at $4+ in CA, I wouldn't be surprised to see peak monthly sales volume of 2500+, 3000+ Volt sold toward the end of the summer buying season. If you have good income (and therefore high CA & US tax), the Volt is actually very reasonable. Lease rate is also pretty attractive.
      Joeviocoe
      • 3 Years Ago
      FCVs have a range problem. Because if you drive 400 miles away from the only H2 fueling station, you can't get back. BEVs can at least slow charge everywhere, and medium speed charge in MANY places. PHEV have charging ability and 100 years of gasoline infrastructure to ensure that range needs are met. FCVs don't have an effective range until somebody spends billions (or trillions) of dollars building an "infrastructure of sufficient density".
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      What interests me is driving a stake through the heart of ICE as rapidly as possible. It is tough to make taxis, and to some extent buses, run on batteries, and impossible for planes and trucks. The development of fuel cells for cars is what will drive the volume to enable those categories to switch. This is not only in order to get off of oil, although that is essential, but the health impact of cars in cities is around 3 times as great as had been realised: 'Fine atmospheric particles — smaller than one-thirtieth of the diameter of a human hair — were identified more than 20 years ago as the most lethal of the widely dispersed air pollutants in the United States. Linked to both heart and lung disease, they kill an estimated 50,000 Americans each year. But more recently, scientists have been puzzled to learn that a subset of these particles, called secondary organic aerosols, has a greater total mass, and is thus more dangerous, than previously understood. ' http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/science/earth/scientists-find-new-dangers-in-tiny-but-pervasive-particles-in-air-pollution.html?_r=3 ICE is killing hundreds of thousands of people worldwide every year. We need to clean up our cities, and fuel cells enable major sources of pollution to be eliminated which are difficult or impossible to do with batteries alone.
      SVX pearlie
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh, yeah, for the record, on my last trip from SoCal to SF, I saw a total of 3 Chevy Volt making the 500+ mile run. I doubt they even needed refuel en route..
      Joeviocoe
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cool. Automakers are right on schedule. :) Having the capacity to make "thousands" is certainly impressive. However, they will not be able to sell even "dozens" if the infrastructure is not built in the next few years. And I'm talking "sufficient density" of infrastructure.... not limited "testing zones" where FCVs are only leased to a few chosen people who are selected based on their proximity to a H2 fueling station and general driving habits. Nobody seriously doubts anymore that automakers can build them... only whether they can be sold to any willing buyer. Gorr may be willing to buy... but Gorr, where is your closest hydrogen supplier???
      Alex
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is all good and everything, but where am I supposed to fill it up, how much will that cost, how far can I get on that tank, will there be another fill station where I'm going to run low on fuel, and how much energy is being used to make the hydrogen? No doubt that fuel cells are becoming cheaper and more efficient, but the manufacturing and storage of hydrogen (especially on a car) isn't exactly great. And I'm not talking about the explosiveness of the fuel or the pressure, but more the density.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Alex
        Storage on the auto isn't really a problem. Current hydrogen storage systems take up less volume than batteries for the same amount of range. http://www.blogcdn.com/green.autoblog.com/media/2010/05/hawaii-hydrogen-2.jpg As for refueling - relax. That's why this is still a limited roll-out to places that *do* have refueling infrastructure. As the codes and standards are approved by the regulating governmental agencies, we'll see a transition from the current "demonstration" stations to a wider publicly-accessible network. Costs are yet to be determined (taxes, etc., plus the variations of H2 production, but otherwise generally about the same or less than the equivalent gge). Range on hydrogen is a strong point, with FCVs getting anywhere from high-30's to mid-60's mpgge - the Toyota HFCV-Adv can go 400+ miles on a single fill.
      emailrobertcena
      • 3 Years Ago
      it is good to hear that Hyundai will make limited number of fuel-cell vehicles this year, 'thousands by coming year.i have a question that how many units of the Tucson ix Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle it will make this year. http://www.uniqueautogear.com
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      $50,000 down the road? why bother? you could be producing a Tesla Model S style car for less starting now with a 150-200 mile range. It would be more appealing because it would be faster, require less maintenance, and fueling it up would be much cheaper. The appeal of hydrogen does not calculate. What am i missing here?
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        "What am i missing here?" Apparently, you're missing how quickly the cost of an FCV is being reduced.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Map: there is already a 300 mile EV coming out. Have you read this website called autoblog green? they have reported on the Tesla Model S numerous times. If you have a 200-300 mile range, a fast charge station would allow you to take that long road trip just fine. After 200-300 miles of driving, you want a bit of a break anyway. 30 min. at a charger wouldn't be so bad. Am i saying EVs are affordable and make business sense? hell no. i'm just saying that hydrogen makes vastly less sense. LTAW: Since you can't buy a FCEV, that's a silly argument.. but i'll make an equally astroturfy argument just for comparison.. The EV1, with it's 26kWh battery, apparently cost GM $80-$100k per unit to produce. Compare that to a Nissan Leaf, which originally costed ~$33k here in the US, and probably will end up dropping back down to that price when US production comes.. going off these numbers i could make an argument that an EV has drastically dropped in cost..
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        I think you have it right. The hydrogen systems have the advantage of longer range and fast refill . . . but at the current prices, they just don't work economically. They need cheaper technology. They are getting close
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Once the standards are in place, then the capital will come to build the infrastructure. Nobody's going to build when they don't know what the requirements are. They're waiting for the siting requirements, and the set-back, and the safety certifications, etc... "Codes and standards have repeatedly been identified as a major institutional barrier to deploying hydrogen technologies and developing a hydrogen economy. To enable the commercialization of hydrogen in consumer products, new model building codes and equipment and other technical standards will need to be developed and recognized by federal, state, and local governments. DOE is working to identify those codes and standards, to facilitate the development of such standards, and to support publicly available research and certification investigations that are necessary to develop a basis for such codes and standards." http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/codes_standards.html "The sub-program supports the development and implementation of best practices and procedures to ensure safety in the operation, handling, and use of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for Program funded projects. To achieve this goal, the sub-program utilizes the expertise of the Hydrogen Safety Panel, which evaluates the safety plans and practices of program-funded projects. The Safety Panel provides recommendations on the safe conduct of project work as well as lessons learned and best practices that can be of broad benefit to the program." http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/progress11/viii_0_safety_codes_and_standards_overview_2011.pdf
          PR
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Spec The longer range and faster refill are still just hypothetical. I'll repeat something I've said over and over about the Model S. Only once the EPA has rated the range of any specific H2 vehicle (or the Model S) will we have a standard measure of range we can use to compare. Until then "longer" and "faster" are still undefined. The H2 fill time for a larger tank (longer range) SUV from a typical commercially available source is also still yet to be determined. The fill time for an H2 vehicle will vary greatly depending upon the pressure that the station stores their gas, and the pressure that the tank needs to be filled to. For example, a small 5,000 psi tank filled from a 20,000 psi source will fill much faster than a large 10,000 psi tank filled from a 15,000 psi source.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Spec
          PR does raise a good point: Commercial hydrogen refueling standards have yet to be solidified. However, just because we don't know what the regulated flow amount will be required to be, it's absurd to say that fill rates are "hypothetical" when hydrogen refueling is happening on a daily basis at prototype pumps. "The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has been monitoring the operation and fueling of 155 FCEVs (See their slide #7.). These vehicles have operated on the road bu ordinary citizens for 131,000 hours and have logged more than 3 million miles as of the end of March 2011 and drivers have refueld their vehicles with with pressure hydrogen over 28,00 times. The average time to fill the hydrogen tanks was 4.4 minutes, and 74% of the fillings took less than five minutes." http://www.cleancaroptions.com/html/ev_fueling_time.html "The Program’s vehicle and infrastructure demonstrations in the National Hydrogen Learning Demonstration have deployed 155 FCEVs and 24 hydrogen fueling stations to date. Over the course of the demonstration, the vehicles have traveled more than 3 million miles. Vehicles and infrastructure in these demonstrations have validated the status of several key technologies in integrated systems under real-world operating conditions, including vehicular fuel cell efficiency of up to 59%, projected durability of 2,500 hours (nearly 75,000 miles) with less than 10% degradation, a range of more than 250 miles between refueling (the Program has validated one vehicle—not in the Learning Demonstration—that is capable of traveling more than 430 miles on a single fill), and refueling times of approximately five minutes for 4 kg of hydrogen." http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/progress11/i_introduction_2011.pdf Refueling the 6kg typical capacity of an FCV SUV should only add a minute or two to the typical 4-5 minute average fill time for a 4kg FCV. A major part of the DoE's Hydrogen Program is Technology Validation. Currently the refueling infrastructure prototypes have demonstrated refueling times of minutes for an FCV, and there's no reason to assume that the regulations will cut back on that capability. Range is likewise variable depending on the amount of onboard storage and the type of vehicle, but there is plenty of experience that FCVs get range equivalent to their gasoline counterparts - range is definitely *not* a stumbling block for FCVs. "The total range determined from the testing was 431 miles. This came from the actual range of 331.5 miles during 11 hours driving, plus 99.5 miles of additional range calculated from the average fuel economy from the day times the remaining usable hydrogen. Driving range results were independently calculated for each vehicle, and the results were averaged together to come up with the final result of 431 miles, with an uncertainty of ± 7 miles (± 1.7%)." http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/pdfs/toyota_fchv-adv_range_verification.pdf
          EZEE
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Spec
          he said, 'longer and faster....'
          Joeviocoe
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Spec
          The lack of H2 refueling standards is NOT the factor that is holding it back! It is the capital investment needed! A few stations here and there will not work. The H2 fueling infrastructure will need to be extensive before the market would seriously consider buying the first FCVs. You have to go big, or go home. Automakers stated that fact explicitly in their Letter of Understanding. Everybody here seems to be stating the range of the FCVs as being sufficient... because they are comparing to Gasoline Cars. Bullcrap! You cannot effectively have a range of 400 miles if there is no hydrogen at your destination... otherwise, it is not a trip, just a distance to get stranded. It is not the lack of standards... but the huge sums of money that oil/gas companies would have to commit to strategically placing H2 refueling stations everywhere... without any guarantee that people would even buy enough FCVs to make them profitable. Especially since PHEVs fill in the needs of the market that BEVs cannot support.
        mapoftazifosho
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        "Why bother building an EV?! I can go buy a Nissan Versa for $19k and the gas savings from the EV will never make up the cost difference." You're going down a slippery slope my friend. What if battery tech doesn't yield 300 mile range batteries? What if instead of an ICE for a range extender, you have a FC generator to produce electricity after the battery is drained? I agree with some of your points, but we shouldn't be discouraging any new technology at this point in time. The appeal is to have a re-fueling station so Americans take take their annual road trip...seriously...that's it@!
          SVX pearlie
          • 3 Years Ago
          @mapoftazifosho
          "What if battery tech doesn't yield 300 mile range batteries?" If (when) batteries reach a true (EPA-rated) 100 miles, they'll likely be cheap & light enough that they'll be far more broadly used in shorter-range applications, especially mild hybrid use of up to 20 miles. At that point, the Level 2 charging infrastructure will be sufficiently broadly established that stretching to the next steps for 200, then 300 mile BEV range simply won't be necessary.
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Research is fine, especially if they are doing it on their own, but when the technology offers no real advantage, I would keep it in research until there is sme sort of breakthrough. I mean, that one Honda (I think) that had the fueling station that took 24 hours to produce enough hydrogen to make it go 90 miles? I mean, if you take charging the time it takes to get that much hydrogen, and factor it into the actual 90 mile trip, that means you have an effective speed of 3.75 miles per hour. Electrics look fantastic in comparison....and the Chevy volt...why that's just an anti-gravity hover car (with Stripperella in the passenger seat with the AC blowing just cold enough to have the desired effect on her). Wow, my ADHD took off there....
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          EZEE, please recall that the station you mention is based on home-use technology, and not representative of what a commercial hydrogen refueling station can provide.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Sure, research the hell out of it.. but IMHO it isn't worth bragging about in press releases when it isn't impressive at the least compared to the alternatives. ( unless you are in a room full of natural gas drilling companies who will start a circle jerk immediately upon the news, knowing they will be frackin' up a storm producing the new "green, clean, emissions free" fuel of the future repackaged as hydrogen )
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Hey Everybody! Fuel cells! Let's form a circle now. You too Bingham!
        Grendal
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        There is a positive experience to stopping at a station to fill up a tank. It enhances ones existence and overall quality of life. Besides, you can pick up a Big Gulp and a bag of chips... Note: I'm being sarcastic.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          ROFL! My eyes were wide reading until the disclaimer....then I lol'd.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        ( but i won't since i'm not an electric car astroturfer.. i just build EVs, admire their simplicity, and want to see fossil fuels go by the way side.. )
      Letstakeawalk
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Tesla Supercharger network will be proprietary to Teslas - right? A 50% charge in 30 minutes. So you stop every 100-150 miles to wait 30 minutes, or you stop every 200-300 miles to wait an hour (or more, considering it takes longer to hit higher charge levels). It's a very reasonable system, and I'm sure Tesla's several thousand CA customers will take great advantage of such a quick means of transportation. Plenty of time to enjoy, as Grendal puts it, "There is a positive experience to stopping at a station to fill up a [battery] tank. It enhances ones existence and overall quality of life. Besides, you can pick up a Big Gulp and a bag of chips..."
      Letstakeawalk
      • 3 Years Ago
      Kudos to Hyundai; now let's see where Toyota and Mercedes land with their pricing!
      Doug
      • 3 Years Ago
      Don't see what advantage this technology has over a plug-in hybrid that runs on LPG. Hydrogen is really a poor energy carrier. They should put their research efforts into fuel cells that work on more energy dense fuels like Methanol, Ethanol, LPG, even CNG.
        Joeviocoe
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Doug
        There are some research efforts there... but it is fundamentally more difficult to extract energy from more complex Hydrocarbons using a fuel cell stack. A proton exchange membrane (PEM) needs those disassociated hydrogen ions (protons) to move through. Hydrogen is easy. But Methanol, Ethanol, LPG, and CNG all have so much more going on. Onboard reformation to extract hydrogen first is bulky and slow (low power density). I hope it can be done, but it certainly requires a lot more to extract an equivalent KW rating.
          Joeviocoe
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Yes, solid oxide fuel cells are promising... But have a long way to go. Even if a get past vibration and high temp... The smallest SOFCs are the size of an full size refrigerator and only provide 5kw or less. A minimum of 20 kw is needed to sustain a vehicle.
          Joeviocoe
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          very cool... um, i mean hot Nice.
          Chris M
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          That's why solid oxide fuel cells are a better choice for complex hydrocarbons - no reformer needed, and it can utilize the energy from oxidizing the carbon as well, as it relies on an oxygen ion transport mechanism, instead of the hydrogen ion transport in PEM fuel cells. The potential problem with solid oxide fuel cells is their brittle ceramic electrolyte would have to resist the jolts and vibrations inherent in automotive use, and the high temperature required for operation.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          The benefit of a residential SOFC isn't cheaper electricity. If that's the *only* thing you're looking at, then yes, it is cheaper to use the grid. OTOH, if you're looking at overall efficiency, the SOFC wipes the grid right out. The conversion of gas to electricity is higher than most central generating plants to begin with, and then you don't have transmission losses to deal with either. Then you also have to consider the efficiency of heating water and air - the cogeneration part of a home SOFC. That brings the total efficieny of the whole unit into the 90% range. So, for just charging the BEV, the SOFC might not be cheaper, but it's a whole lot cleaner, and we all know that true eco-minded individuals are willing to pay a premium for a product that in cleaner. Then again, the overall utility bill *is* reduced, because you're not using nearly as much energy to heat water or for HVAC. So having a home SOFC can save an average homeowner money versus just staying with the grid/nat gas status quo.
          Joeviocoe
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          So, goes on sale for the first time in a few weeks (Japan only). I can't wait to hear more.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          "Toho Gas estimates that the unit's annual output when generating 3,000 kwh is enough to cover about 50 to 60 percent of the energy consumed by the average household, saving around ¥50,000 a year in energy costs. If a home also has a solar power generator, annual output exceeds consumption and owners can sell the surplus power back to a utility." -and- "ENE-FARM Type S utilizes ceramic electrolyte for the power generating cell stack which achieves a high operating temperature of 700 to 750 degrees Celsius. This high temperature heat can be efficiently used as energy to reform utility gas to hydrogen and thus a high power generation efficiency level of 46.5% is achieved, with an overall energy efficiency of 90.0% (LHV). The SOFC system includes a hot-water supply and heating unit which uses exhausted heat with a 90-liter storage tank to utilize the high temperature heat exhausted during power generation, as well as a high efficiency latent heat recovery type hot-water supply heating unit for the back-up boiler. The system eliminates annual CO2 emissions of about 1.9 tons while also reducing annual energy costs of about ¥76,000 (US$916) compared to ordinary gas-powered hot-water supply and heating units. " http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/03/kyocera-20120315.html There's a very good reason why the residential fuel cell market is growing rapidly!
          Joeviocoe
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          LTAW, is the Natural Gas used in these SOFC s cheaper than residential power from the grid? The only places that I know that use fuel cells for electric power use it, not because it's cheaper, but because they need a supplement to the grid and/or MUST Never have a power outage. Like server farms, etc. I don't think people would use them in homes to power BEVs.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          SOFC are ideal for stationary power generation, so that's where most of the current effort is being spent. It is very likely that many people will use a home SOFC to provide the power to charge the batteries in their PHEV or BEV. http://fuelcellsworks.com/news/2012/01/24/toshiba-revamps-ene-farm-residential-fuel-cell/
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