Hyundai remains on track to reach its goal of producing what it says will be the world's first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), which will be a version of the Tucson crossover, by 2015, Hyundai Motor North America CEO John Krafcik told reporters at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Krafcik also stressed that the car, called the ix35 in some markets, would be available to the general public and would be a "series" vehicle – that is, not limited to government entities or fleets. He added that a crossover was most appropriate for fuel cell technology because its weight is greater than typical vehicles and would be a particular challenge in terms of maximizing range on an electric vehicle.

"We hope we can ride the scale economy down," Krafcik said, referring to the process of reducing per vehicle costs as production levels rise. He declined to estimate how much such vehicles cost to produce and how much they will cost in 2015.

In September, the Korean automaker said at the Paris Auto Show that the ix35 would be the first serial-production FCEV when it's made available for private and public lease by the end of this year. Hyundai, which has estimated a 365-mile full-tank, zero-emissions (except for water vapor) range for the car, has estimated that it will make 1,000 units between now and 2015. The company hasn't given out any price estimates.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 89 Comments
      Neil Blanchard
      • 19 Hours Ago
      My favorite quip about fuel cell cars: "I would love to own an efficient and affordable hydrogen fuel cell car - I could park it next to my unicorn!" Talk about a chicken / egg quandary - will we see lots of hydrogen fuel cell cars or hydrogen filling stations first? Neil
        DaveMart
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Neil Blanchard
        Talking about quips, how is your super aerodynamic car which weighs next to nothing going? Has it gone the way of all Apteras?
        Dave
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Neil Blanchard
        These companies are ready, willing, and able to build hydrogen infrastructure and are just waiting for the word from Dan Akerson et. al: http://www.nuvera.com/pdf/PowerTap_Hydrogen_Generator.pdf http://www.hygear.nl/fileadmin/hygear/Leaflets/HyGear_HGS_brochure.pdf http://www.praxair.com/praxair.nsf/7a1106cc7ce1c54e85256a9c005accd7/6ab6d5e94b785c508525656300433215!OpenDocument
          Chris M
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Dave
          They're actually waiting for someone else to shell out the bucks to build the H2 fueling stations. The ones who would profit the most are the oil & natural gas companies, as they have the cheapest sources of H2 and they already make a lot of money selling automotive fuels - but they've been extremely reluctant to use any of their profits for building H2 stations. Government subsidies for building H2 stations have been severely curtailed, due to economic downturns and the political risk of providing benefits to already wealthy oil companies. The result is that H2 has fallen well behind electricity, biofuels, LPG, and even CNG as an alternative to gasoline and diesel.
          Chris M
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Dave
          I don't know about those other places, but there are no Government funds available from the State of California now, not with chronic budget shortfalls, and a reluctance to help the oil companies score bigger profits.
          DaveMart
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Dave
          @Dave: Check out this from NEL: http://fuelcellsworks.com/news/2012/11/26/nel-hydrogen-has-recently-launched-the-nel-p60-electrolyser/ Containerised and portable, and can be ramped from 10-100% hydrogen production. So modest initial capacity for infrastructure can be moved somewhere else on the network when the first site needs upgrading, making expansion much easier and cheaper.
          Dave
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Dave
          Hydrogen infrastructure is easy.
          DaveMart
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Dave
          Chris M: You will be delighted to learn then that there are funds available in several countries in Europe, in California, in Japan and in Korea to set up the needed infrastructure. They include contributions from Daimler.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Dave
          California proposals for 2013: "This is a competitive grant solicitation. The California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) is seeking to develop infrastructure necessary to dispense hydrogen transportation fuel. The Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology (ARFVT) Program of the Energy Commission developed this solicitation. The goal of this solicitation is to provide grant funds to projects which expand the network of publicly accessible hydrogen fueling stations to serve the current population of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and to accommodate the planned large-scale roll-out of FCVs commencing in 2015. This network will support alternative transportation fuel and vehicle technology goals of the State of California, such as the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Program, which requires 14% of certain auto manufacturers’ model year-2015 fleets to be zero‐emission vehicles, and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which is designed to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 10 percent by 2020. Hydrogen fueling stations must support the future deployment of FCVs and hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles (HICEVs). The Energy Commission aims to prioritize its investment by funding hydrogen fueling stations in the Station Location Areas identified in Section IV and Attachment 14. The Energy Commission hopes this solicitation will create an initial foundation of a statewide infrastructure network that will encourage greater FCV adoption among consumers and facilitate other hydrogen fuel providers to enter this emerging market." http://www.energy.ca.gov/contracts/PON-12-606/PON-12-606.pdf "Up to $28.59 million is available under this solicitation." Not much - but not nothing. Then again, typically the automakers and the energy companies have always footed the big part of the R&D costs. http://www.energy.ca.gov/contracts/PON-12-606/
      methos1999
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Much better looking than most of Hyundai's polarizingly styled car of late.
      Spec
      • 19 Hours Ago
      "Maintains a 2015 date"? That is bovine fertilizer. Hyundai said they would start selling them earlier than that. Sounds like they are scaling back already. The earlier story: Hyundai will make 'limited' number of fuel-cell vehicles this year, 'thousands' by 2014 http://green.autoblog.com/2012/04/16/hyundai-will-make-limited-number-of-fuel-cell-vehicles-this-ye/ I assume they'll back off the magic 2015 date as it approaches as well.
      mbukukanyau
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Too bad Dan over at GM killed their program while they already had a totally developed powertrain with all the kinks and miniturazation and commercialization done. In the name of costs. Put the damn system in an Escalade or some big fat Cadillac and sell it at a profit if you must, but bring it to market.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        GM killed their FCV program? Got a link? Everything I've read indicates that they're bringing the FC R&D into the final stretch by incorporating them into the rest of the main R&D labs in Michigan, and their FCV prototypes are still being used years after their expected testing lifespan was thought to last.
          DaveMart
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          @Chris M: Where do you invent your facts from? Some older hydrogen stations are closing, as they can't deal with higher pressures that the new vehicles use, but many more are scheduled. Here is California: http://cafcp.org/sites/files/20120720_Roadmapv%28Overview%29_0.pdf
          Chris M
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Not so much "killed" as "idling". Still doing fuel cell testing and research, but on a much smaller budget. Still officially aiming for a 2015 launch, but considering how H2 fueling station construction has stalled, with a few H2 stations actually slated for closure and no new ones under construction, that launch will likely be postponed or cancelled.
          Chris M
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          No "invention", as you yourself pointed out, some of the stations are scheduled for closure, either due to technical limitations or the ending of testing programs. There are some new ones planned, but actual construction has been put on hold due to lack of funding and lack of demand.
        archos
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        Uh oh mbukukanyau, the foolsell bots are going to jump all over you now.
        Dave
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        Source? AFAIK- Akerson has not killed anything. Last comment from him reiterated what GM's fuel cell people said in 2009 - fuel cells will be affordable in the early to mid 2020s. GM and all the rest of the OEMs are still working to get platinum content down to the levels in a catalytic converter equipped ICE vehicle or less. Current state of the art is about 5 times as much platinum.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        So i'll see you guys at the 'who killed the hydrogen car' screening in downtown LA, right?
      Letstakeawalk
      • 19 Hours Ago
      We're not anywhere the level of conspiracy theorists that the anti-FCV crowd, so a film of that title is unlikely... "How Oil Companies Forced Obama To Build the Hydrogen Car" - now *that* is a movie the conspiracy theorists would probably get behind! ;)
      johnc
      • 19 Hours Ago
      I would buy one right now if I could. To hell with the people who continually say "There's no infrastructure". Idiots pure and simple. Anyone can see there are billions to be made in the infrastructure business. It' going to happen fast. Watch and see!
      • 19 Hours Ago
      The fuel cell car is fantastic idea. I would buy one in a minute. Yet, hydrogen pumps are far from the oil companies agenda. I don't see why they care, if people had cars that achieved 200 mpg, the oil companies would just charge per $50 per gallon for gasoline. Eventually, fuel cells will be common. The Moon Rover is fuel cell, when did they put that up there?
      Letstakeawalk
      • 19 Hours Ago
      If you say so, Giza. Care to share your production cost estimates, and links to the global cooperative organizations working on pig aviation standards?
      • 19 Hours Ago
      naysayers never make money
      JakeY
      • 19 Hours Ago
      It's not news that they have backtracked to "up to" 1000 between now and 2015 (they said so already in their September announcement that they will start production in December). http://www.autoblog.com/2012/09/27/hyundai-ix35-fuel-cell-paris-2012/ In 2010, they said they would make 500 for 2012, increasing to 1000 for 2013, ramping to 10,000 by 2015. I guess the infrastructure and fleet orders are just not there yet to support that kind of volume (or their production facilities are not ready for it). If they make more than 100 they already have the largest hydrogen fleet out of all the manufacturers (beating GM's Equinox fleet), so it's still some kind achievement. http://www.fuelcelldispatch.com/AutomotivePower/tabid/2704/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/225/Hyundai-Plans-to-Sell-500-Hydrogen-Fuel-Cell-Cars-in-2012.aspx http://green.autoblog.com/2010/06/06/hyundai-kia-confident-we-can-beat-toyotas-50-000-price-on-fu/
        DaveMart
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @JakeY
        Rollout is no doubt being co-ordinated with that of the infrastructure in South Korea, Japan and Europe. Its pretty absurd to try to categorise that as a miss.
          JakeY
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @DaveMart
          We regularly have people here heavily trashing the Nissan Leaf for only making half of its target (10k out of 20k), or the Chevy Volt for reaching only ~60-70% its 10k target in late 2011, the Tesla Model for being delayed from the target of 5000 this year by a few months, etc. I think a categorizing an order of magnitude 10x reduction in projected volume (from 10k/annually by 2015 to less than 1k in total between now and 2015) as a miss is more than fair. At the very least, it's over promise, under deliver (perhaps typical in the green car industry).
          DaveMart
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @DaveMart
          Well Jake, I was never too convinced that Hyundai had ever said that they intended to build 10,000 by 2015. I think they may well have said that they intended to be able to produce 10,000 a year by 2015, exactly what we are now talking about. That would be an easy confusion in any combination of company PR flacks and journos even if it was all in English, but when you add the potential for confusion translating from Korean as well then being definitive seems unlimited. A host of reasons can also lead to adjustment of the exact numbers to be produced on this sort of limited pre-production run, so try as I might it is difficult for me to get very worked up about it. If they are not ready to step it up by 2015-ish then indeed it would count as a miss.
          DaveMart
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @DaveMart
          BTW it would not greatly surprise me if a Government or someone like FedEx came in and said that they wanted to test a few more before 2015 if Hyundai bumped the number by a thousand or whatever. If that happens I won't be shouting it to the rooftops as a '100% increase', and will simply take it as an example of the imprecision of these sorts of pre-production numbers.
          archos
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @DaveMart
          If all global infastructure can support is 1,000 foolcells after years of announcements and partnerships its hard to categorize that as anything but a miss.
          DaveMart
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @DaveMart
          Likeliest to me is that everyone, Daimler, Toyota, Hyundai and the governments and companies rolling out the initial hydrogen infrastructure are all talking to each other on an ongoing basis, and continually readjusting their plans based on that discussion.
          JakeY
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @DaveMart
          @JakeY I want to make a note that the sale volume criticism I noted of plug-ins comes regardless of any infrastructure roll out, esp. in the DC charging front (which is still early and relatively slow).
      Joeviocoe
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Not really "news". Just Danny trying to drum up the same old crap. Nothing new to say either. Just giving a shout out to DaveMart and LTAW, always a pleasure. We'll see what happens by Q3 2014 if any of the automakers are ready for any significant rollout by 2015.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Time will tell. Until then, we can only read about the advances that are happening.
          DaveMart
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          @Joe: You really, really are trying to keep your eyes closed, in my view! For instance: http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/annual_progress11.html Since the hydrogen and fuel cell program has hit almost every target they set, then enthusiasm tends to grow, including from the Dr Chu.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          So you're saying, that you won't read about the advances? Fine by me. Please resume non-commenting, and enjoy the rest of your evening. Sorry to bother you with a report from the LA Auto Show.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "But if you think this "report from the LA Auto Show" is an "advancement"..." I never said this announcement was anything of the sort. It's just LAAS pablum. That said, I do enjoy reading about advances in fuel cell technology, and I have no doubt we will be reading some interesting announcements over the next few years. Please continue non-commenting. Feel free to ignore fuel cell articles entirely, if you'd like.
          Joeviocoe
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          sigh I wasn't gonna comment, for realz this time. This is not an advance of any kind.... this is a reminder that the automakers still have an agreement with Oil and Gas companies. The automakers need to give them a warm and fuzzy feeling that they won't abandon them prematurely. They agreed to build the cars if the Infrastructure was built with sufficient density by 2015. It costs very little to keep up the promising. Automakers will likely be building many more EVs and PHEVs than FCVs by 2015 and beyond... but they don't need to talk as much about it.. since they don't have any big agreements with the Charging Infrastructure companies like they have with the H2 Infrastructure people. Oh, and the pdfs you always find on hydrogen.energy.gov that promise great technological advancements and improvements that show drastically lower cost ... are paid submissions from companies, and are NOT necessarily backed by the government. (go to the DOE's EIA for real projections). There are good reasons why there is so much positive speculation on hydrogen... it will make already rich entities, even richer. So they have both the means and the motivation to drum up thousands of articles, reports, studies, and proxy companies to say positive things about how hydrogen cars will be cheap to build, and hydrogen production and fueling costs will be low. Then, when the gov't buys into it (again) with massive subsidies, they will bait and switch. I just wish you can see the political and corporate pandering that is the primary motivation and is behind all of these so called 'announcements' of advancements. Truth is, PHEVs are the true competition to FCVs... and the demand for them is not inflated like FCVs. Cheaper to operate, probably cheaper to buy, and no new infrastructure needed.
          Joeviocoe
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          LTAW, No, I don't mind reading. But if you think this "report from the LA Auto Show" is an "advancement"... then you prove my point... This is FLUFF news.... no substance. And you (and a few others) are confusing the quantity of "news" for quality. Just because you are bombarded with the same BS over and over again, does NOT increase its credibility, nor does it make it newsworthy. DaveMart, that is the disagreement. The hydrogen.energy.gov does NOT represent the official opinion of the DOE as a whole. Most of the articles that you guys link, are from companies submitting information TO the DOE (usually in hopes of funding). The DOE has NOT been bullish on hydrogen since Bush. And yes, there is still some optimism in the agency, but Oil/Gas lobbying efforts are still strong.
          DaveMart
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Joe, Since the DOE is just as bullish on hydrogen and fuel cells as the companies concerned, the distinction you see to draw does not seem too relevant. You would also not seem to impose the same strictures on companies which produce batteries etc as you seek to use to disqualify comment from those promoting hydrogen and fuel cells. I am far from agreeing with Marco on the innocence of oil companies, but equally far from your position which seems to me to attach excessive importance to big business connections, to the point where consideration of the actual merits of the various systems seems to be obscured. Since in my view there is plenty of political and corporate pandering to be had in alternative means of powering transport then it is unlikely that I will have a satori about the influence of business on hydrogen and fuel cells.
        DaveMart
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Hi Joe. As you say, we will see. I am not assuming success, but neither am I writing fuel cells off. Really at this stage I am more interested in comparing different models from the various manufacturers, and waiting to see what Honda come out with as their production model.
          DaveMart
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @DaveMart
          I'm hoping Honda stick with the design in their FCX, and simply update that with the new stack they plan, as that is the only sedan-style FCEV offered: http://automobiles.honda.com/fcx-clarity/
      Giza Plateau
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Codename: Flying Pig
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