• 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
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Dealer Added $70 A Month To Advertised Price, Which Tipped The Scales

They say you can always tell the pioneers. They're the ones with the arrows in their backs. Unfortunately, that was our experience pursuing – and eventually rejecting – the new hydrogen fuel cell-powered Hyundai Tucson.

Each H2 vehicle could be worth $130,000 in ZEV credits

With the first Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle deliveries happening soon (a bit later than expected), it's time for the Korean automaker to explain why it's offering the H2 CUV here in the states. After all, there are only 10 public hydrogen stations in the US today, according to the DOE, so it can't be to take over the market. According to a Hyundai exec, the reason we are getting the Tucson Fuel Cell is to make up to $130,000 through California's ZEV credit system.

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.

Things are running a little bit behind on Hyundai's hydrogen-powered Tucson Fuel Cell CUV program in the US. The last time we checked in with the South Korean automaker's H2 project, we heard that the first deliveries were supposed to happen by the end of March. Speaking with Hyundai's Kevin Lee at the Hyundai booth at the SAE World Congress this week, we learned that deliveries are now going to happen closer to a month from now.

Here's the recipe: separate the water out of some sewage, leaving the biosolids behind. Then pipe those solids into airless tanks and let some microbes go to town. These bugs release a gas (roughly 60 percent methane, 40 percent CO2) which you can burn to power the plant where you're doing all this work but remember to send some of the methane to a tri-generation machine that leaves you with electricity, heat and hydrogen.

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.

Hyundai is going to be in a very celebratory mood next spring. That's when Hyundai will start making its hydrogen fuel-cell electric Tucson crossover available to Golden State citizens next year, and the automaker isn't backing away from hyperbole about its green vehicle ambitions.

If nothing else, Hyundai wants to make it as easy as pie for you to check out its upcoming hydrogen-powered 2015 Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle. Given that the Korean automaker will be the first to offer a mass-produced fuel cell vehicle in the US (sorry, Honda, the FCX Clarity just doesn't cut it for this category) and that the hydrogen-powered Tuscon is coming next spring, there's no time like the present to lower hurdles.

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