With expected pomp and circumstance, but short of a marching band, Hyundai delivered its first Tucson Fuel Cell crossover to the Bush family in Southern California on Tuesday. Dave Zuchowski, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America, was on hand to officiate along with an array of other government officials, including California Air Resources Board chairman Mary Nichols. The automaker is touting the emissions-free vehicle as the "world's only mass-produced fuel cell vehicle" as it travels down the same assembly line as the other Tucson models – its production is scalable, based on demand.

The Tucson Fuel Cell replaces the standard model's 2.4-liter, four-cylinder, gasoline combustion engine with a 100-kW fuel cell stack, which sends power to a 100-kW (134 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque) electric motor driving the front wheels. A 24-kW battery pack, shared with the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, is used for storage. The vehicle earns the customer a combined 50 MPGe, while earning the automaker up to $130,000 through California's ZEV credit system.

As the hydrogen refueling infrastructure is extremely underdeveloped, Hyundai will initially only offer the Tucson Fuel Cell on a lease program to customers in the Los Angeles/Orange County areas, where it has approved six stations with the 700-bar (WEH TK17 pistol-grip nozzle) pumps. The automaker has packaged the program with a $2,999 drive-off, with payments of $499 per month for 36 months. To nearly eliminate operating expenses, the automaker is throwing in "unlimited free hydrogen refueling" (keep in mind that the leasee is only contracted to 12,000 miles each year, so that will put a cap on how much free fuel flows from the pump) along with the company's At Your Service Valet Maintenance at no extra cost.

We had an an opportunity to take the Tucson Fuel Cell for a drive, so keep an eye open for our upcoming Quick Spin. In the meantime, check out all of the details in the press release below.
Show full PR text
HYUNDAI PROUDLY HANDS KEYS TO FIRST TUCSON FUEL CELL CUSTOMER AT TUSTIN HYUNDAI

First Customer to Lease the World's Only Mass-Produced Fuel Cell Vehicle For $499 per month comes from Huntington Beach, California

Lease Includes Unlimited Free Hydrogen Refueling and At Your Service Valet Maintenance


TUSTIN, Calif., June 10, 2014 – Today, Tustin Hyundai's Dealer Principal, John Patterson, proudly handed over the keys to Hyundai's first mass-produced Tucson Fuel Cell CUV in a ceremony with Hyundai executives and Timothy Bush, the first Hyundai Fuel Cell customer.

"My family is certainly excited to be doing their part in driving a zero-emission vehicle that benefits the environment, and at the same time, reduces our nation's dependence on imported fuels," said Mr. Bush. "What's great about the Tucson CUV is that its day-to-day utility is virtually identical to the gasoline version, so we don't have to compromise our lifestyle in the process; I can easily fit all of our family's things in the back. The attractive $499 lease rate with unlimited free hydrogen fuel made the decision to drive a fuel cell even easier."

Now, all Tucson Fuel Cell 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 put a mass-produced, federally-certified hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in their driveways, with availability at three select southern California Hyundai dealers: Win Hyundai in Carson, Tustin Hyundai, and Hardin Hyundai in Anaheim.

"Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles represent the next generation of zero-emission vehicle technology, and we're thrilled to be a leader in offering the mass-produced Tucson Fuel Cell to our first retail customer," said Dave Zuchowski, president and chief executive officer, Hyundai Motor America. "The range and refueling speed of our new Tucson Fuel Cell compares favorably with gasoline vehicles, making them a seamless transition for our customers from traditional gasoline vehicles. We're sure that fuel cell technology will increase the adoption of zero-emission vehicles, and that everyone will benefit. The commitment of the State of California and their support in creating a hydrogen fueling infrastructure has been an important part of our decision to offer this fuel cell vehicle to the public."

The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell has also received strong support from government agencies, such as the California Air Resources Board. "Californians are known for our support of smart innovations, and the Bush family's decision to become the first Americans to drive the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle as their family car fits squarely within that proud tradition," said Air Resources Board chairman Mary D. Nichols. "These ultra-clean vehicles play a critical role in our efforts to clean the air and meet our climate goals. Fuel cell cars are not vehicles of the future – they're here now, and we applaud Hyundai for bringing them first to market in California where they are most needed."

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 benefit – unlimited free hydrogen refueling. Consumers have already shown strong interest in the Tucson Fuel Cell leasing opportunity by visiting the Tucson Fuel Cell microsite at hyundaiusa.com/tucsonfuelcell.

"When we spoke with customers about fuel cell vehicles, many wondered about the cost of hydrogen," explained Zuchowski. "To ease those concerns as the hydrogen refueling network builds out, we decided that covering this cost for these early adopters was appropriate, and consistent with how we like to treat our customers."

In addition, Tucson Fuel Cell owners will enjoy similar services enjoyed by Hyundai Equus owners, such as At Your Service Valet Maintenance at no extra cost. 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) by visiting Hyundai.com. Availability of the Tucson Fuel Cell will expand to other regions consistent with the accelerating deployment of hydrogen refueling stations.

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 the University of California, Irvine Advanced Power and Energy Program's 2013 study, the hydrogen fuel cell provides comparable total well-to-wheel emissions to 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 265 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
* 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

The Tucson Fuel Cell began mass 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 varied means - including renewable sources such as biogas. Hydrogen can even be sourced directly from water, using electrolysis to split hydrogen molecules with electricity from renewable energy 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 H2USA. In addition, the California Energy Commission recently announced proposed awarding of $44.5 million for the development of 28 new hydrogen stations (plus one mobile refueler), bringing the total number of hydrogen fueling stations (open, in-development, and proposed) to over 50 stations.

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 the hydrogen ions and electrons with oxygen to create water and heat energy
* A single fuel cell produces approximately one volt; fuel cells are "stacked" to meet voltage requirements

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 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

Hyundai Motor America on Twitter | YouTube | Facebook

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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 90 Comments
      Snowdog
      • 7 Months Ago
      I suppose it would be too much to ask for enough journalistic integrity, to stop repeating that unsubstantiated $130 000 ZEV credit nonsense number. Other than that, not much to see here, another few dozen lease only FCV to a few curious folks, that will pay to take part in the ongoing testing. So who's next? Toyota? Are they going to be the first to actually sell and FCV, so we can get some real sales.
      CoolWaters
      • 7 Months Ago
      The Chevy VOLT has made this tech Completely Obsolete.
        Edge
        • 7 Months Ago
        @CoolWaters
        It's like saying ketchup has made mustard obsolete, because they're both condiments.
        quattroMANIA
        • 7 Months Ago
        @CoolWaters
        Yup. HAHA. Very intelligent of you to make that comment. the VOlt is a plug-in hybrid.. this is hydrogen fuel cell. if you dont understand it, you can look up Mr Wickedpedia.
      Bernard
      • 7 Months Ago
      Why are we wasting money on this dead end technology? Batteries are the future and they are so far ahead of this thing it's not even funny.
        Edge
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Bernard
        Yeah batteries are wonderful. They weigh a ton. Yes, literately weigh a ton or more! Make a car cost two to three times more than the gas version, and get a quarter of the range or less! More like both technologies are so far behind oil burners, that they need some serious advances to make anything more that the microscopic dent they have made so far.
          Joeviocoe
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Edge
          --" Yes, literately weigh a ton or more! " Problem with EV haters... is the lack of math skills. http://www.teslarati.com/tesla-model-s-weight/ 1,323 lbs does NOT equal a ton. And that is the heaviest EV battery put into a production car. Also.. weight matters less and less if you can shape the weight in a flat format and if you can have regen braking. There are problems with weight: 1) The energy lost to accelerating which normally will all be lost during braking. Regen captures much of that. 2) Poor handling as the weight distribution causes pitch, roll and understeer. Having the weight below the axle and evenly distributed... reduces those effects greatly. Which is why the Best Car of the Year can also be so heavy.
        usa1
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Bernard
        Thanks for the input Elon.
      Joeviocoe
      • 7 Months Ago
      --"..along with an array of other government officials, including California Air Resources Board chairman Mary Nichols. " Funny, has the CARB chairwoman ever showed up for a launch for an EV?
      2 wheeled menace
      • 7 Months Ago
      So wait, Hyundai Receives $130,000 from taxpayers for each car leased, and the customer pays a total of $20,999 to drive the car for 3 years? So, whenever someone leases one of these, other taxpayers get to pay ~87% of the cost? Is the production cost of each of these cars over $150,000... is Hyundai just milking taxpayers via government... or what?
        GoodCheer
        • 7 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Is it taxpayers, or is it other car-buyers? I had the impression that those credits were part of the same system as the CAFE and EV credit system, so in principle at least the buyers of gas guzzlers are paying that.
        white_blur47
        • 7 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        That is how I am understanding it. Fuel cell vehicles just don't make sense until there is a source of hydrogen that is easy to get (because breaking it off from water is terribly inefficient).
          Joeviocoe
          • 7 Months Ago
          @white_blur47
          No such thing as "easy to get". Hydrogen is an energy carrier.. and requires an energy input of at least 33 kwh per kg of H2. So regardless of the source of energy (electricity or Natural Gas).. that it what it requires.
          Edge
          • 7 Months Ago
          @white_blur47
          That 's true, but you also have to advance the technology, by working on it now, so when hydrogen production can be done efficiently, the vehicles are ready for it.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 7 Months Ago
          @white_blur47
          Perhaps that is the way the first oil burning cars were developed. " Let's just burn oil in them for now and eventually we will find something else to burn in them that is better for the environment.
        Steve
        • 7 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        No, California government is just dumb
        2 wheeled menace
        • 7 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Car buyers still buy the cost then, because the car companies that pay into the ZEV credits have to shift the cost somewhere else. They will have to increase their prices, cut labor, or do something else. So there is a price to you and me still. That $130,000 does not appear from thin air. ( unless you're the federal reserve )
          Bernard
          • 7 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Gas guzzlers will have a slightly higher retail, but if you can afford the gas you can afford the credits.
      Mike Hillsgrove
      • 7 Months Ago
      There were people who said that they would never give up the horse, who knew that the airplane was just a novelty, who loved the 8 track and who will never carry a smart phone (me for one). And yet, steamships for crossing the Atlantic disappeared in favor ot jumbojets, we have I-Pods, and cars. Many children have never seen a horse. I used a slide rule in college. I showed it to my partner at work and he was amazed by it. Gasoline technology is 100 years old. Gasoline was the waste product of the refining of kerosene and was considered far too dangerous to use near people. It was the head of standard oil that went to Henry Ford to find a use for this toxic dangerous stuff that he was tossing into empty fields. Gasoline replaced the electric technology and the 60 electric taxi's being used in New York City in 1899. Now, we enter the H2 age. It is the age of electronics, clean and renewable energy, of smart roads and smarter cars. It's an age when you fill the tank at home with H2, when gas stations are something your Dad remembers fondly. It's just the beginning and yet the future is bright and clear. We will need to develop solar and wind farms dedicated to the production of H2. I already have idea's how to do that. We can use a tide and wave to make H2 from the water they sit in. Steam reformation is not a viable process moving forward. It is at best a transformational technology to get the ball rolling. Electrolysis is the process of the future. We are watching history, the death of the age of oil, the birth of the H2 age.
        Joeviocoe
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Mike Hillsgrove
        Actually... we are entering the Battery Age... brought to you by the computer/laptop revolution. Hydrogen belongs in space, where weight per unit energy is so critical that nothing else will do. Hydrogen is a poor energy carrier... so we are not likely to go BACKWARDS from a very efficient model of Battery efficiency (90% efficient) to Hydrogen Fuel Cells (50% efficient). BTW... there were ZERO Li-Ion Battery cars over the past 100 years (not until just recently). So comparing Lead Acid battery cars to EVs of today... is like comparing Donkey drawn carriages to Horse Drawn Carriages.
        Ele Truk
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Mike Hillsgrove
        Steamships crossing the Atlantic have not been replaced by aircraft, they have been replaced by diesel and bunker oil, not much of an improvement. Steam reformation is 100% viable, as long as natural gas is cheap, 95% of all Hydrogen is generated from Natural Gas. Once we see peak NG (like we have seen peak oil) and the price rises, then maybe renewable sources will be used as alternatives. Currently it's too costly in energy to use renewables to generate Hydrogen, it's more efficient to put the electricity on the grid. I'm not sure there will ever be an H2 age, they took too long. Batteries have improved greatly in the last 10 years, and will continue to improve. Within a few years any advantage H2 might have over batteries will be gone.
      hemusbull
      • 7 Months Ago
      So this one is a sham between the government and ...Hyundai?
      Doug S
      • 7 Months Ago
      So to make it functional, it has a 24kWh battery, more than a third the size of a Tesla Model S's (and therefore at least 1/3 the price of the Tesla's battery pack), a fuel cell, and a 5,000+ psi hydrogen tank (aka onboard bomb) besides. You can't refuel it anywhere, you can only lease it (at a ridiculously high rate), and its electric motor puts out less than 1/2 the power and torque the Tesla's does. Yeah, this is a viable alternative to the Tesla. NOT!
        paulwesterberg
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Doug S
        Since it is the same battery as the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid it probably only has 1.4kWh of capacity which would only get you 3-6 miles on electricity and because you are probably driving slow as you near your house/garage the battery will likely be mostly filled up with regen and extra fuel cell stack output so the number of miles that could be added by plugging it in is marginal. Even in an emergency if you were stranded with an empty hydrogen tank plugging it in to add 6 miles of limp mode would probably not be enough to get you to a hydrogen station.
        Jon
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Doug S
        The article says 24 kW battery, not 24 kWh. Not sure if it is a typo or not. That would be a very large battery for it not to be a plugin.
          Mike
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Jon
          You guys are all wrong. It has a 100kW motor, 100kW fuel cell and 24kW battery. Think about that balance of power. That means that this thing is like a Prius. It can do very little without consuming hydrogen, just like the Prius can do very little without starting the ICE. The fuel cell must be spooled up in order to accelerate the car in any meaningful way. The battery is just there for some power smoothing and regenerative braking. They put all the money into the fuel cell. There was no money left for a big battery.
          Jon
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Jon
          To further clarify, if it is not a typo, 24 kW battery means the battery is capable of providing 24 kW of power to combine with the fuel cell power output. This allows the fuel cell to be slightly downsized as the battery can assist when brief peak power is needed during vehicle acceleration. The battery also helps meet transient demands so that the output of the fuel cell can be "throttled" slower.
          Jon
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Jon
          @spec I thought the same thing too. 24kW does seem a little low but perhaps advances in the fuel cell allow it to "throttle" much faster than previous tech therefore needing less assist.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Jon
          So true Jon, if it was a 24 kwh pack, it seems like it could be a plugin very easily. Like the Volt it could go 40 miles before it needs to even start the chemical process to use hydrogen for electricity to charge the battery.
          Spec
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Jon
          I'm guessing it is a typo. 24KW seems too low.
        Doug S
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Doug S
        Oh, forgot to mention, it also gets barely half the MPGe of the Tesla, so even if you could buy hydrogen as cheaply per joule as electricity (which you can't), you'd still pay almost twice per mile what it costs to run the Tesla.
        DaveMart
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Doug S
        It is 0.95kwh, The rest of your post is equally astute.
      Vijay Tulshibagwale
      • 7 Months Ago
      Good days are here to come. pollution free driving.
      DaveMart
      • 7 Months Ago
      Joeviocoe claimed: 'Lease over-mileage penalties are so steep that the drivers would wish they could just pay for the fuel.' Where is that from? Hyundai US site it just says that rates for over 12k a year are not yet fixed. Inventing more FUD as usual, Joe?
      Robert
      • 7 Months Ago
      Two or three years ago I was excited about the prospects of Fuel Cell automobiles. Now not so much for several reasons. 1) There was the promise (or the possibility) of in home fueling stations. Honda boasted of a prototype. Now I understand that's vapor ware. 2) There was the promise (or possibility) of hydrogen for the FC being produced from water instead of natural gas fossil fuel. That was a pipe dream 3 ) From what I have been able to research the cost of hydrogen fuel will be at least as expensive as gasoline even if the technology catches on. (I understand that there is no costs for Hyundai lessors). That coupled with a fuel economy of a mere 50 MPGe, less that half of almost all electrics (other than the 95 MPGe of Tesla), What's the point? Especially, here in the San Francisco Bay Area where electricity to fuel a Nissan Leaf (for example) costs the equivalent to about $1.00 per gallon of gas. 4) I have a 33 panel solar array system on my roof that could not feed a Fuel Cell vehicle. 5) The storage battery of the Hyundai is about the size equivalent to the one in the Nissan leaf. Again, what's the point? 6) Everything I have read about the Toyota and Hyundai fuel cell offerings indicate that are woefully underpowered even when compared to late model EVs.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Robert
        Hi Rober, According to Davemart below the pack size in this FCV is .095 kwh. So it is very much smaller than the Leafs 24 kwh pack. A big pack would be nice so it could be a plugin as well.
          Robert
          • 7 Months Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          Thanks. The .095 kwh makes a lot more sense.
          Jesse Gurr
          • 7 Months Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          Pretty sure that's actually 0.95 not 0.095kWh battery
        Ele Truk
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Robert
        I just looked into it and I believe a home station is entirely doable. I found a company that makes a 4500 psi compressor for $650. Hydrogen is easy to make, and 5000 psi tanks are available. If I needed to I could probably build a home station for under $5000. Business opportunity?
          PeterScott
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Ele Truk
          You are in dreamland. Hydrogen is not air. You don't contain it with off the shelf parts. Hydrogen is extremely difficult to contain. I used to follow Shuttle launches, and I remember the #1 technical reason for launch delays was hydrogen leaks. NASA can't contain hydrogen, but you can in your garage? Hydrogen permeates and weakens metals. http://phys.org/news200759436.html Not only that. Hydrogen leaks are pretty much the most explosive thing out there. Not a big issue when it it is outdoors, because it is is lighter than air and floats away, but in an enclosed space like a garage, it could be a big issue. Regulations around producing explosive gas generator for use in home garages are going to be surrounded in a mountain of red tap (rightly so) and that will make it expensive. NOT only that but small scale hydrogen production loses a lot of efficiency. Making even more expensive than gasoline if you want to produce it yourself. So expensive, potentially dangerous, and inefficient. It doesn't sound like a winning combination.
      Anonymous Coward
      • 7 Months Ago
      Hyundai should just be giving these away if they get 130k for each car leased.
        JDubbs115
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Anonymous Coward
        To be clear, California won't be writing Hyundai a $130k check every time a Tucson FCV is sold. CARB awards them with ZEV credits, which in turn "sort of" have monetary value - companies like Tesla sell them to other automakers that don't sell (or sell too few) ZEVs in California. Hyundai doesn't plan to sell theirs though.
          Joeviocoe
          • 7 Months Ago
          @JDubbs115
          According to Hyundai... they get 26 ZEV credits per FCV. We still don't know how they are managing that.
        SloopJohnB
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Anonymous Coward
        I'll bet it costs about $250K each to make them….loss leader for Cali emissions and RD. Why do you think they're only leasing them?
          Anonymous Coward
          • 7 Months Ago
          @SloopJohnB
          Bahaha 250k to make a car with the same range as the Tesla Model S and the inability to fuel it anywhere and hydrogen is not even particularly green.
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