• Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
Hyundai thinks it has a hit on its hands with the Tucson Fuel Cell CUV, an Internet hit at the very least. At the Washington Auto Show this week, Michael O'Brien, the vice president of corporate and product planning for Hyundai Motor America, announced that 88,000 people have visited the car's microsite. Since the company isn't yet taking orders for the vehicle, we'll have to take this as a sign that people are interested in a hydrogen-powered CUV. "The response surprised even us," O'Brien said.

"The response surprised even us"

Hyundai expects to deliver the first Tucson Fuel Cell to a "small group" of customers in the US within 60 days, O'Brien said. As we learned last year, Hyundai will lease the CUV for $499 a month (and $2,999 down) for 36 months. That price includes as much hydrogen refueling as you like, plus Hyundai's Valet Maintenance.

The Tucson Fuel Cell is already in production and available in other markets (as the ix35 Fuel Cell), following 16 years of development and what O'Brien said were "hundreds of millions of dollars" spent on R&D. Hyundai has tested its fuel cell cars for over 2.4 million miles, including extreme heat, cold and altitude tests (but it hasn't shot a bullet into the tank a la Toyota). Hydrogen cars are "as clean and by some measures cleaner than today's EVs" but are more practical, with longer range and shorter refueling times, O'Brien said in DC. There's more in the press release below.
Show full PR text
Hyundai Receives Strong Consumer Interest With 88,000 Visitors To Its Dedicated Fuel Cell Microsite In Just Two Months

$499 per month to drive the World's First Mass-Produced Fuel Cell Vehicle, Including Unlimited Free Hydrogen Refueling and At Your Service Valet Maintenance

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hyundai is witnessing exceptionally strong consumer interest in its next-generation Tucson Fuel Cell CUV, with more than 88,000 unique visitors to its Hyundai.com fuel cell microsite since the program's November introduction. Consumers selected for the program can drive the Tucson Fuel Cell for just $499 per month, which includes unlimited free hydrogen refueling and "At Your Service" valet maintenance at no extra cost. For the first time, retail consumers will be able to put a federally-certified hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in their driveways, with availability beginning in late Spring 2014 at select Southern California Hyundai dealers.

"We're experiencing strong consumer interest to drive the Tucson Fuel Cell CUV," said Michael O'Brien, vice president, corporate and product planning, Hyundai Motor America. "Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles represent the next generation of zero-emission vehicle technology, and we intend to be a leader in offering the mass-produced, federally-certified Tucson Fuel Cell to retail customers. The range and refueling speed of our Tucson Fuel Cell is superior to the range and charging limitations of competing battery electric vehicles. Even more, fuel cell technology is sure to increase the adoption rate of zero-emission vehicles, and everyone will receive the environmental benefits."

FUEL CELL PRICING AND BENEFITS
The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell will initially be offered on a limited basis to customers in the Los Angeles/Orange County area for $499 per month for a 36-month term, with a $2,999 down payment. This includes the addition of a remarkable new addition to the Hyundai Assurance program – unlimited free hydrogen refueling. "When we spoke to customers interested in driving a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, some wondered what the cost of hydrogen would actually be," said O'Brien. "To ease those concerns, we thought that covering this cost for early adopters in the monthly payment was the best approach, and consistent with our Hyundai Assurance program. It's yet another way of saying: 'This is another thing you don't have to worry about, at Hyundai, we've got your back.'"

In addition, Tucson Fuel Cell lessees will enjoy all the same services of the Hyundai Equus "At Your Service" valet program. As Equus owners have enjoyed since its introduction in 2010, should a Tucson Fuel Cell require any service, a Hyundai dealer will pick up the vehicle and provide a loan vehicle, then return the customer's car after service to their home or business, at no charge. Customers interested in the Tucson Fuel Cell can indicate their interest (the first step in the ordering process) beginning today by visiting Hyundai.com.

The first Hyundai dealers to offer the Tucson Fuel Cell to Southern California customers are Hardin Hyundai in Anaheim, Win Hyundai in Carson and Tustin Hyundai, with additional Hyundai dealers to follow. Availability of the Tucson Fuel Cell will expand to other regions consistent with the accelerating deployment of hydrogen refueling stations.

THE NEXT-GENERATION ELECTRIC VEHICLE
To achieve societal goals of significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, more and more consumers will need to drive zero-emissions vehicles. Currently, there's an ongoing debate about the future of the electric vehicle, with two schools of thought:

Store more electricity on-board using more/larger batteries
Create electricity on-board with hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology

Developed more than 100 years ago, the battery electric vehicle has made progress in recent years, with improved affordability and energy storage capability. But for most consumers, range anxiety and lengthy recharging time remain formidable obstacles to using them in their daily lives. In addition, affordable electric vehicle technology is best suited to smaller urban vehicles, not larger family and utility vehicles that many families require to meet all of their needs. Because of the inherent weight and cost of batteries, and the chemistry and physics that drive slow recharge times, today's electric vehicles have practical limits for many consumers.

TUCSON FUEL CELL ADVANTAGES
Hyundai is introducing its Tucson Fuel Cell to alleviate the limitations of traditional battery electric vehicles. The Tucson Fuel Cell maintains the day-to-day flexibility of the gasoline-powered Tucson, so that its driver is able to immediately enjoy the next generation of electric vehicles without range or recharge-time compromises to their lifestyle.

The Tucson Fuel Cell represents the next generation of electric vehicles – those that create their own electricity, on-board, from hydrogen. According to UCI's Advanced Power and Energy Program's 2013 study, the hydrogen fuel cell provides comparable well-to-wheel emissions as a battery electric vehicle. For the Tucson Fuel Cell driver, this social benefit is achieved with greater utility, versatility and without compromises. Consider:

Driving range of 250-300 miles*
Capable of full refueling in under 10 minutes, similar to gasoline
Minimal reduction in daily utility compared with its gasoline counterpart
Instantaneous electric motor torque (221 lb-ft)
Minimal cold-weather effects compared with battery electric vehicles
Superb daily reliability and long-term durability
No moving parts within the power-generating fuel cell stack
More than two million durability test miles on Hyundai's fuel cell fleet since 2000
Extensive crash, fire and leak testing successfully completed
Quieter EV operation
Zero greenhouse-gas emissions, emits only water vapor

* Estimated driving range based on internal tests; EPA ratings to be determined by launch

The Tucson Fuel Cell begins production for the U.S. market in April 2014 at the Ulsan, Korea assembly plant that also manufactures the Tucson gasoline-powered CUV. Manufacturing the Tucson Fuel Cell at the same plant allows Hyundai to leverage both the high quality and cost-efficiency of its popular gasoline-powered Tucson platform.

HYDROGEN RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS
The benefits of hydrogen are well known -- required supplies for the U.S. market can be produced domestically and its supply is virtually unlimited. It can be produced by various means – including renewable sources such as biogas. In fact, Hyundai's Fuel Cell prototypes have relied on hydrogen generated at the Orange County Sanitation District near its Fountain Valley headquarters, where methane from sewage is turned into hydrogen. Hydrogen can even be sourced directly from water, using electrolysis to split hydrogen molecules with electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar.

Further supporting hydrogen infrastructure development, California approved a plan in October 2013 to develop up to 100 hydrogen refueling stations in the state over the next several years. This recent California initiative dovetails with increased government support of hydrogen infrastructure development at the federal level, such as H2 USA.

HYDROGEN: LOWEST WELL-TO-WHEEL EMISSIONS
According to 2013 studies on well-to-wheel greenhouse-gas emissions (GHG) by the Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California, Irvine, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles have the lowest overall emission levels of all alternative fuel entries. Well-to-wheel emissions for hydrogen vehicles sourced from natural gas are comparable to battery electric vehicles, and less than half of equivalent gasoline vehicle emissions. Even more impressive, hydrogen emissions sourced from biogas are a tiny fraction of equivalent gasoline vehicle emissions, yielding an extremely high factor of long-range emissions sustainability.

FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY: HOW IT WORKS
Hyundai's fuel cell effectively replaces the battery pack used in an electric vehicle by generating electricity from hydrogen through an electrochemical process that does not involve hydrogen combustion, with no moving parts within the fuel cell stack.

The fuel cell electrochemical process is as follows:

Hydrogen enters the anode, air (oxygen) enters the cathode
Catalyst splits the hydrogen electrons and protons
Electrolyte conducts the positively-charged ions while blocking the electrons
Electrons are used to create an external circuit, generating electricity
Catalyst combines hydrogen ions, electrons and oxygen, creating H2O and heat
A single fuel cell produces one volt; "stacking" meets voltage requirements

ENTERPRISE RENT-A-CAR AVAILABILITY
Hyundai is also partnering with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to make the Tucson Fuel Cell available to consumers at select locations in the Los Angeles/Orange County area, with availability planned for Spring 2014.

HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 820 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully-transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance. Hyundai Assurance includes Assurance Connected Care that provides owners of Hyundai models equipped with the Hyundai Blue Link telematics system with proactive safety and car care services complimentary for three years. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle service scheduling.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 140 Comments
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      --"announced that 88,000 people have visited the car's microsite." Ah... the Autoblog/Danny King measure of popularity was used. Counting web page hits as a sign of "interest". Wow... they are really scraping the bottom of the barrel here.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Jake: Once again it is strange what you chose to pick up on. I gave detailed and substantive information on analyses of early customer demographics for the UK, which you simply ignored as it did not suit your thesis.
          JakeY
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          I'm just making a general comment about how automakers like to inflate the numbers in terms of interest in their vehicles. Government reports are irrelevant to this. It's not really intended to be a "EV vs FCV" post, as EV makers do the same thing.
        JakeY
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        From the title, I though they at least had 88k people who registered to ask for more information. If they are counting microsite visitors I bet even the i3 has close to a million. The bar for "expression of interest" is getting lower and lower. It used to be an actual registration with a deposit (although even that is refundable and many times only a small amount). Then it became a free registration for a "wait-list". Then later it became just a registration asking for more information. Now it's website hits. I wonder if automakers can find an even lower bar to inflate the numbers.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        I bet this blog article can garner more "interest" than Hyundai's "microsite" can.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Nope, ABG is really only the same five posters, arguing amongst themselves and their alts.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Who is to say that Hyundai's "microsite" is using permanent cookies or IP address tracking to ensure they are only counting the visits once?
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Oops... I just accidently navigated to the 'microsite'.... I guess I am number 88,001. I suppose now I am "interested to buy" a Hyundai FCV.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Gorr's probably been there like 50,000 times... (I went once, and signed up for email alerts)
          krona2k
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          I also visited the site and I've got zero chance of leasing one let alone buying one. I visited it to add to my archive of 'interesting' hydrogen information.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          You mean 'interrested to buy' ;)
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        The resident troll is back. Give it a rest, Joe, and let those of us who are into electric cars no matter the drive source celebrate the arrival of another alternative without your incessant carping. You don't like them. We get it. Now please find another thread to troll.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          Lead-Acid batteries are to Lithium-Ion batteries,... as Hydrogen Fuel Cells are to Gasoline Fuel Cells. Back before anybody ever thought to put Lithium in a battery, yes, it was right to laugh at EVs. In order to consider a FCV as a "success", you may not even recognize it anymore. If someone were to invent a fuel cell stack that could process gasoline (and maybe sequester the emissions)... my objections would vanish. As that would make a superb range extender.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          So do you want to get back on topic? Or do you want to digress into personal attacks, to distract from your lack of reasoned argument?
          JakeY
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          Trolling does not mean only extreme negativity. Off-topic, posts that bait people for response, concern trolling (subtle FUD) is also trolling. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          It's strange that 2WM chose to compare FCVs to something that was ultimately successful, in spite of the naysayers. Just like they couldn't really predict the impact of improved battery chemistries in the pb-acid era, who knows what will happen in future generations of fuel cell stacks and hydrogen storage?
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          Trolling is persistent negativity. I invite you to particularise the threads and posts which I have written knocking copy on battery electric vehicles. as you interminably do on fuel cell vehicles.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          Being a detractor of hydrogen cars at their level of development isn't an indication of someone with a bad attitude. It is like making fun of electric cars during the lead acid era of the 1980's. Electric cars sucked and they were a total joke! I wouldn't blame anyone for harping on them back then; would you? That's where Hydrogen cars are today, and the technology as it stands is something only an oddball with a single atom fetish could love.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          You troll too... in fact, you have more posts than me. Longer posts too. And tend to post first.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          Why would joeviocoe be happy with a vehicle that continues to require gasoline, and the whole imported oil problem? (facepalm)
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          Your endless carping negativity on every thread which mentions fuel cell cars certainly qualifies you as a troll in my book. I note that you have still not detailed where I post persistently to knock battery electric cars. That is because I don't. Every 'point' you raise about the bee in your bonnet has been answered over and over, with references. Get a life, and find something to be positive about.
      danfred311
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh no, 88000 interested, that must mean I was wrong and HFC will be a success after all. And pigs fly. Pretty cruel to include the fuel in the price when you can't get it filled anywhere. Hehehe :) But their persistence is understandable following Honda Clarity's raging success. How many of those are on the road again? ALLLLRIGHTY THEN :)
      JakeY
      • 1 Year Ago
      Actually, I just recently found that according the ANL GREET model (pretty much the gold standard in terms of life-cycle assessment for cars), that there is no equivalent pathway for hydrogen that is cleaner than EVs. It's actually cleaner to run EVs on the US grid mix than either distributed or centralized SMR for hydrogen. The worse case result for EVs is coal, but the equivalent on the hydrogen side would be coal gasification, which if done would also drastically increase the efficiency and reduce the pollution of electricity production via coal (and they would be done in the same plant most likely). http://greet.es.anl.gov/results (numbers below is GHG in grams CO2e per mile) HFCVs: Distributed NG (Natural Gas) SMR -286 Distributed Electrolysis: U.S. Mix - 584 Distributed Electrolysis: CA Mix - 352 Central NG SMR - 272 Central Biomass - 79 EVs: U.S. Mix - 243 CA Mix - 151 Coal - 444 NGCC (Natural Gas Combined Cycle) - 214 Biomass - 40
      pmpjunkie01
      • 1 Year Ago
      Didn't know i needed to. Thank you for letting me know how I've been doing it wrong all these years.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      " Older models like Honda's FCX Clarity ran 65 miles on 1kg, which is an equivalent to around 65MPGe. For a typical, commuter car running on an electric motor, that's very poor." The Clarity is *not* a commuter car - it is a mid-size luxury sedan. In comparison, the Tesla Model S gets an EPA rating of 89MPGe. It will be interesting to see what ratings the various forthcoming FCVs actually get in EPA testing. People have the option to buy a BEV if they'd prefer higher efficiency. However, considering most of the market still prefers a traditional ICE, the efficiency of an FCV competes more with those ICEs, and in that light, they're twice as efficient. There's a spectrum of options, from ICE to FCV to BEV. Not every customer fetishizes efficiency the way BEV buyers do. For many, an FCV is a very reasonable alternative to an ICE.
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      --"But, there will be customers who are looking for longer range, and the convenience of quick fills. " And PHEVs fit that perfectly. And much better for drivers who want long range, but don't want to wait for someone else to facilitate that long range.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Each time an article appears about an HFCV model, a group of loud protesters gather to pour scorn on the technology, and those who are interested in its potential as a mass produced alternate fuel . The tone of the debate has become unpleasant, with some commentators indulging in gratuitous personal abuse and name calling. All this overwrought emotion, is a bit delusional, since there's absolutely no chance of anyone on this forum having any influence of the final outcome. So how about everyone just lighten up, and appreciate the knowledge and information that Dave Mart, LATW, and others, contribute to understanding H2 technology. Likewise most of those who doubt HFCV technology, contribute equally useful and interesting information. It's only by respecting each others viewpoints and insights, that all can benefit from the issues discussed.
        pmpjunkie01
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Each time an article appears about an HFCV model, a group of astroturfers and trolls gather to spread misinformation about the technology, and scorn those who are interested in EV's. ... So how about everyone just lighten up, and appreciate the FUD and misinformation that Dave Mart, LATW, and others, contribute to misunderstanding H2 technology. As I said before, if HFCV fans could do without dissing EV's at every turn they would probably get a lot more respect. It is really pathetic actually, since Fuel Cells are a fascinating technology with great merits. It is just this fixation on hydrogen and cars that seems a bit disingenuous and immature.
          John Bailo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @pmpjunkie01
          After this year 88,000 people are going to be driving FCVs. Proof of the pudding.... And with free gas, this car's lease is effectively like $100 to $300 a month! Even someone who never thought about electrics before is going to want one!
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @pmpjunkie01
          I don't "dis" EVs. I am quite an outspoken advocate of BEVs, as well as a shareholder in Tesla Motors. I just happen to believe that FCVs will coexist naturally with BEVs, with both offering qualities that appeal to different owners.
      NestT
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla will have an EPA rated 350 mile range car that can supercharge at one mile per second before there is a national hydrogen refueling network. And that Tesla vehicle will be cheaper than a "comparable" fuel cell vehicle from Hyundai, Toyota, Honda or anyone else.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @NestT
        Now that's a positive attitude! If Tesla manages that, we'll all be celebrating.
        John Bailo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @NestT
        Problem is weight. A Tesla is basically a pickup truck with a bed full of heavy dangerous batteries concealed by a sports car looking cowling. The "sportiness" comes from the basic fact that an electric motor has faster acceleration than a gas engine. Even a Nissan Leaf becomes a sports car. However, with all that battery weight compared to a safe small hydrogen tank, the battery car will always lose.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great !...... Unlike Tesla with all their Government loans and subsidies. WASTED tax $ to Tesla Government is NOT giving away billions wasted US tax $ to (Hyundai or Honda or Toyota's) in loans for their Fuel Cell vehicles. . This is a good thing, Hyundai is spending (their) money on research and development on alternative fuel vehicles. Musk must be worried to say future is NOT fuel cell? Like he was going to get Toyota's mind about Toyota pulling the plug, (ending Tesla deal with electric RAV, batteries from Tesla).
      Edge
      • 1 Year Ago
      Water is made out of hydrogen and oxygen. It a potential huge energy source, if you can efficiently separate those molecules.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      How do you have any concept of what a FCV car would actually cost at point of sale? Because nobody currently sells one. Toyota has said $50k-$100k for their lackluster-sounding hydrogen SUV. If that's $75k, then it's close to the price of a Tesla; except it's going to be very slow and not have a luxury feel.. wouldn't that be a worse value of a car, to you? We do know the price of a 250-300 mile EV at the moment. We also know that fuelling it is significantly cheaper than putting hydrogen into the car, easily half or a third of the cost, going off the numbers of what i've seen for steam-reformed natural gas hydrogen. It's not all about range. Range is the only place where a FCV currently wins over an EV. It loses significantly in almost every other area.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      20 minutes doesn't get you a full charge. Closer to half a charge, at a Tesla Supercharger. Non-Tesla EVSE will be even slower.
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