These crossovers are not available in showroom quite yet, but the first batch of Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles has made it to California. Hyundai is promising retail availability, "within the next several weeks," which means early June or so for the $499/month CUVs. We previously heard in January that these hydrogen-powered Tucsons were supposed to be in US customers' hands by the end of March, so things are running behind schedule.

Still, the delivery at a port near Los Angeles marks the "first delivery of a mass-produced fuel cell vehicle for the US market," Hyundai says, which could be a big deal when we look back at the evolution of hydrogen-powered vehicles in the US (though we're guessing at least one other manufacturer might object to the Korean automaker's claim). Mike O'Brien, vice president, corporate and product planning for Hyundai Motor America, is certainly upbeat, saying in a statement that Hyundai is "proud of our leadership role in this important segment of the alternative fuel vehicle market."

So far, that's a segment that the company has almost all to itself. There are a very small number of hydrogen vehicles around today, including the Honda FCX Clarity and a few test vehicles from other automakers, but the numbers are set to grow next year when Toyota and Honda introduce new hydrogen sedans. For now, though, Hyundai can make a splash simply by bringing these vehicles to our shores.
Show full PR text
Hyundai's First Mass-Produced Tucson Fuel Cell CUVs Arrive In Southern California Tucson Fuel Cell, the Next-Generation Electric Vehicle, Arrives at Port Hueneme With Retail Availability Soon

PORT HUENEME, Calif., May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, at a port near Los Angeles, Hyundai's Tucson Fuel Cell CUVs began rolling onto U.S. soil, marking the first delivery of a mass-produced fuel cell vehicle for the U.S. market. The first retail sale of the Tucson Fuel Cell is expected within the next several weeks in Southern California.

Under the Hyundai leasing program, approved lessees can drive Hyundai's next-generation Tucson Fuel Cell for just $499 per month, including unlimited free hydrogen refueling and "At Your Service" valet maintenance at no extra cost. For the first time, retail consumers can now put a mass-produced, federally-certified hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in their driveways, with availability at three select southern California Hyundai dealers: Tustin Hyundai, Win Hyundai in Carson, and Hardin Hyundai in Anaheim.

"Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles represent the next generation of zero-emission electric vehicle technology, and we're proud of our leadership role in this important segment of the alternative fuel vehicle market," said Mike O'Brien, vice president, corporate and product planning, Hyundai Motor America. "The range and refueling time of our Tucson Fuel Cell compare favorably with gasoline vehicles, making them a seamless transition from traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. We're excited to provide customers in Southern California a way to transition to a zero-emission vehicle with minimal compromises.

FUEL CELL PRICING AND BENEFITS

The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell will initially be offered to customers in the Los Angeles/Orange County region for a 36-month term at $499 per month, with $2,999 down. This includes the addition of a remarkable new addition to the Hyundai Assurance program –unlimited free hydrogen refueling. Consumers have shown strong interest in the Tucson Fuel Cell leasing opportunity, with over 200,000 unique visitors to the Tucson Fuel Cell microsite at hyundaiusa.com/tucsonfuelcell.

In addition, Tucson Fuel Cell owners 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 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. Availability of the Tucson Fuel Cell will expand to other regions consistent with the accelerating deployment of hydrogen refueling stations.

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 Blue Link Assurance Connected Care provides owners of Hyundai models equipped with the Blue Link telematics system with proactive safety and car care services complimentary for one year with enrollment. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle service scheduling.

For more details on Hyundai Assurance, please visit www.HyundaiAssurance.com

Please visit our media website at www.hyundainews.com and our blog at www.hyundailikesunday.com


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 132 Comments
      Keen
      • 1 Year Ago
      Autoblog loves to post recalls, but you seem to have missed the recent Hyundai recall for the Tucson. I realize all the editors here are on staff at Hyundai, but...
      Tweaker
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yes, at last! Finally, I can look forward to becoming dependent on another fuel cartel!
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tweaker
        Make no mistake about it - without the oil / gas "cartels", you would starve to death within a few weeks. Don't fool yourself into believing that you are not dependent on them.
      JB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Taking dirty oil and gas and hiding it as Hydrogen is not a good thing.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think he's just referring to "70mpkg" as a general, and not specific, estimate. As I quoted above, the Hyundai has been ranked in the high 60's in many articles, based on a then-claimed 360 mile range. The new, lower range estimate will certainly change those calculations. Also, the Toyota FCHV-adv has been tested and shown to deliver in the high 60's mpkg, so it's not an absurd thing to imagine the smaller Hyundai being comparable. "Driving range results were independently calculated for each vehicle, and these results averaged together to achieve the final 431‐mile range estimate. The uncertainty on these results is relatively low due to eight independent measurements of distance and six separate measurements of hydrogen usage, with a resulting uncertainty of ± 7 miles (± 1.7%) based on spread between the low and high values from all of the multiple measurements. The average fuel economy resulting from the day’s driving was 68.3 miles/kg and the total hydrogen stored on‐board at 70 MPa was calculated to be 6.31 kg." http://www.nrel.gov/hydrogen/pdfs/toyota_fchv-adv_range_verification.pdf
      korblalak
      • 1 Year Ago
      Only an idiot would leave one fuel monopoly for another.
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @korblalak
        Why do you think it is a monopoly?
          eric
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave
          A monopoly of the fossil fuel industry. A single industry. Oligopoly. Call it what you will, I don't want my dollars going to fat cats in the US and the middle east.
          eric
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave
          A monopoly of the existing fossil fuel based energy companies. The easiest and cheapest way to get hydrogen is by reforming natural gas.
          paulwesterberg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave
          The correct word is Oligopoly. An oligopoly is a market form in which a market or industry is dominated by a small number of sellers (oligopolists). Oligopolies can result from various forms of collusion which reduce competition and lead to higher prices for consumers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligopoly
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave
          "monopoly....energy companies" By using the plural, you have invalidated your own argument.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I've been posting about our hydrogen future for a long time. Fuel cells could still fail. But I don't think so. Batteries can never recharge in 3 to 4 minutes. The physics don't allow it. Elon Musk (a very smart guy) thought that the economics of fuel cells could never work, but the economics are now really close, e.g, Toyota claims a 95% reduction in cost in the last 10 years. So now Toyota is going to market with fuel cells along with Honda, and Hyundai. Again, this could all fail. But at this point I don't think so. The science works. The technology has made enormous progress. And there is an appetite for dong this. So, we'll see.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        --"Batteries can never recharge in 3 to 4 minutes" But they CAN be swapped in 1.5 minutes. As demonstrated, and soon to be built between SF and LA this summer. --"Toyota claims a 95% reduction in cost in the last 10 years." A reduction in costs as a percentage is meaningless. It is a marketing gimmick. The first Fuel Cell vehicle could be claimed to have cost $2 million dollars each. Because a clever marketing/economic trick can include R&D costs that should be amortized. So now, if they cost $100k... it would seem like miraculous cost reductions of 95%. The Hyundai Tucson costs $144k USD in Korea.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          $65 per swap... on par with gasoline fill ups for a full size vehicle.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          So battery swapping needs an infrastructure as well....
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          How much will a battery swap cost?
        Chris M
        • 1 Year Ago
        Actually, high pressure H2 tanks can't be refilled in 3 or 4 minutes, either, the physics doesn't allow it. The increase in pressure causes a corresponding increase in temperature, and too high of a temperature will cause the carbon fiber bonding resins to fail, with catastrophic results. Admittedly, they can be refueled faster than a battery can be charged - but not as quickly as a battery pack could be swapped.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Chris M
          True, most hydrogen "fills" during the testing period have been in the 50-75% range, which is similar to how we refuel our gasoline cars. Nobody waits for the tank to be completely empty... The point still stands that it only takes 3-5 minutes to add 200+ miles of range.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Chris M
          HUGE difference between customers choosing to leave a buffer for the lower limit of a tank (i.e. going to the station when still having some fuel left)... and having to significantly slow down fueling at the upper limit (i.e. fast charging and hydrogen). The mantra of "treat it just like a gasoline car" is going to fall apart if people are told that cost, energy or time will be sacrificed to achieve the 3-5 minute goal of filling up.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Chris M
          That's an interesting theory. I wonder how all those FCVs have been filling up their tanks, then. Refueling has been demonstrated repeatedly, thousands of times, without any serious issue - much less a catastrophic tank failure. Pre-cooling is a part of the refueling strategy. https://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/pdfs/webinarslides_h2_refueling_protocols_022213.pdf
          JakeY
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Chris M
          @Letstakeawalk Actually your link seems to indicate the tanks are not completely refilled (but rather somewhere between 90-100% filled), so it's similar to EV charging. And for those stations that don't have the -40C precooling (but rather the -20C precooling) it'll take 3-20 minutes.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Chris M
          --"Pre-cooling is a part of the refueling strategy." It also requires a bit more energy, and cost on the side of the H2 station. All this leads to the inevitable disappointment when we finally crunch the "real world" numbers on WTW efficiency and and costs.
      Snowdog
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lease only beta testing. Honda was there years ago with Clarity. Wake me when they are really selling FCVs.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is a solution that solves No Problems for No body. Clearly the only benefactor is big oil. This was supposed to be their bull "green" solution. But fracking, which releases more methane/carbon into the atmosphere then coal, plus the water pollution and cancer is a dead end, for any state that implements it. Republicans: Always with the idiot "solutions".
        ScottT
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        Clearly, it's not so clear that the only benefactor is big oil. That's why car companies are still working on fuel cells.
          CoolWaters
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ScottT
          Under the table bribery, doesn't mean they support it, just the cash flow the bribe generates. What fool would transition all US gas stations to hydrogen at a cost of Millions per Station. You, the tax payer?
          ScottT
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ScottT
          So it's millions of dollars for infrastructure that is all going to big oil? So what was the bribe amount, tens of thousands of dollars? Your guys little theory simply makes no economic sense. The major oil companies aren't going to all get together and collaborate and come up with an illegal plan to secretly funnel enough money into Hyunda/Toyota/Honda/etc in order to convince them to spends hundreds of millions of dollars on fuel cell research and production just to pick up part of the "millions of dollars still being granted". And if they really thought that this was what they wanted to do, why keep it secret? They could publicly help fund it and use it for PR. The conspiracy theory simply makes no sense.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ScottT
          Why? The millions of dollars still being granted for Hydrogen infrastructure projects. Have you not been following what has been going on in California?
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ScottT
          Ethanol producers are also going to benefit greatly from a hydrogen economy.
          ScottT
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ScottT
          That makes no sense. If this product is a deadend, then why would the oil companies bribe them? If it's a deadend, consumers won't want it en-masse. And why would they even need bribe them? I mean, it's not illegal for one company to help fund a project for another company. I think you need a new conspiracy theory. Why do they need to convert every US gas station to hydrogen???
        paulwesterberg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        It ensures a continuing revenue stream for big oil corporations. It allows vehicle manufactures to continue producing large inefficient vehicles that place the a high cost of operation on the consumer.
          ScottT
          • 1 Year Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          It only ensures a continuing revenue stream if this is a viable technology and that the oil companies are guaranteed to control the source of the fuel. If it's a viable technology, then there is no need for the oil companies to "bribe" the manufacturers, they should want to get in on this viable technology all on their own. Hyundai could continue to build large inefficient vehicles regardless of whether or not they are building the Tucson FC. I think you need a new conspiracy theory as well.
      Edge
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great news! Especially for ticking off those EV fanatics here! Joeviocoe in full force in this thread. How dare anyone release a hydrogen vehicle! I know hydrogen has a way to go, but they have made great strides to make it this far. These are good test vehicles, while they continue to work on the technology.
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yes,.... a couple hundred people are the lucky ones... they get to be the bait for the rest of us. The drug dealer always gives the first "hit" on the house. Hyundai can afford to give away some perks... especially since the rest of us CA tax payers are footing the bill for the H2 stations.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cool. Now please offer them for SALE (not just lease).
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        A three year lease seems like a good way to introduce these vehicles to the market. Its unlikely that Hyundai will want to stock parts for a first generation low volume vehicle much longer than that.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave
          --"seems like a good way to introduce these vehicles" Seemed like a good way to Honda, Toyota, and GM a decade ago. Oh wait, no.... it wasn't. It failed then.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        I get voted down for that? How unreasonable of me!
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Retail sales option would be nice.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Not much market for a $200K CUV.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Retail sales option would be nice.
        rsxvue
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Hyundai probably won't sell these cars outright because early adopters are essentially beta testers. I'm sure Hyundai will take data from these cars after the lease period ends to see where they can improve.
      goodoldgorr
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think that all fuelcell vehicle are good enouph and cheap enouph to begin selling them but the success of all that roll out depend on the hydrogen gas infrastructure not the cars or suvs themselves. We barely know what a hydrogen station look like and how much it cost to deliver a kg of hydrogen gas compressed at 10 000 p.s.i Please make articles about hydrogen stations, I need to know all the numbers, the only thing I know is that it is safe and it take 3 minutes to refill from empty to full. The success of hydrogen future depend on the price of one kilo of hydrogen. The fuelcell cars are already a success technologically and economically. Tesla are now doom, it's a question of time, another tucker or amc story.
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Serious mass production (millions per year) will not be reasonable until platinum use is about 3 grams per vehicle (~$150 worth), like current ICE vehicles. Current fuel cell vehicles require about 20 grams (~$1,000 worth) per vehicle. Promising paths to sustainable platinum loading are currently at the laboratory stage, several years from production.
        Agustin
        • 1 Year Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Tesla can get advantage of fuel cell technology. When the H2 infrastructure are setup, more fuel cell vehicle will emerge.
        ScottT
        • 1 Year Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        I seriously doubt Telsa or EV's future is dependent on the success/failure of fuel cells. There is no reason why there needs to be a single type of propulsion for all vehicles. Personally, I think a mixture of different types of vehicles for different purposes is the most likely future.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ScottT
          Yep... a mixture is exactly what is going to happen.. .and what is needed. But just as it is today, it is NOT an even distribution. We are clearly dominated by Gasoline in the light duty fleet, and the Heavy duty fleet is dominated by Diesel... there are Biofuels replacing niche fleets, as well as CNG and LPG. I expect H2 FCVs to find niches in heavy duty fleets where infrastructure can be managed.
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