"Of course, everybody asks 'Why 70?' and it's basically tied to the number of fuel stations that are available," he said. "We were the first to actually pass over ownership of the vehicle, it's not a test program. It helps people put their money on the table, and they lease the car from us and it's their car. The customers that we've leased the vehicle to are ones that live close to a fuel station.
"Right now there is less than 10 in the state of California. By the end of this calendar year, there should be in the mid-20s. And then, of course, under Gov. Jerry Brown's $200 million towards construction, I believe about 100 stations [will come online] through the end of the next couple of years. As those stations get built out, we're taking more and more applications for vehicle sales." In January 2014, O'Brien told AutoblogGreen that 88,000 people had expressed an interest in owning a fuel-cell Tucson.
O'Brien said that Hyundai needs the customers to be close to a hydrogen station so that driving the car feels similar to what they're used to doing. "We just want to make sure there is a satisfying experience of ownership, and that's the most important thing, to make that their ownership experience matches what they've experienced with a gasoline car," he said.
World's First Mass-Produced Fuel Cell Vehicle Available For $499 per month
Lease Includes Unlimited Free Hydrogen Refueling and At Your Service Valet Maintenance
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., May 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Hyundai's zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle continues to satisfy and attract new customers focused on high-versatility and clean transportation. For 2016, the Tucson Fuel Cell adds convenient HomeLink® connectivity to the mirror, allowing owners to open and close garage doors, security gates and even control home lighting systems via a button on the rearview mirror, which now includes a digital compass. In addition, Tucson adds two new exterior color options to Winter White: Hydro Blue and Chromium Silver.
"At Hyundai, we strongly believe that hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles represent the next generation of zero-emission vehicle technology, and we're proud to be a leader in offering the mass-produced Tucson Fuel Cell to our customers," said Dave Zuchowski, president and chief executive officer, Hyundai Motor America. "Every day, these customers are enjoying the benefits of refueling speed and superior range that compare favorably with gasoline vehicles, providing a seamless transition from traditional vehicles with minimal loss of utility. We're confident that advancing fuel cell technology will increase the adoption of zero-emission vehicles, and that everyone will benefit."
The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell has also received strong support from government agencies, such as the California Air Resources Board. "These ultra-clean vehicles play a critical role in our efforts to clean the air and meet our climate goals," said Air Resources Board chairman Mary D. Nichols. "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 Tucson Fuel Cell lease program remains unchanged for 2016. Customers in the Los Angeles/Orange County region can drive Hyundai's next-generation Tucson Fuel Cell for just $499 per month for a 36-month term, with a $2,999 down payment. This includes the addition of a remarkable benefit – unlimited complimentary hydrogen refueling and At Your Service Valet Maintenance at no extra cost.
"When we spoke with customers about fuel cell vehicles, many wondered about the cost of hydrogen," explained Mike O'Brien, vice president, corporate and product planning. "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. Similar to what 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 the customer's 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. Retail consumers can find availability at three select southern California Hyundai dealers: Win Hyundai in Carson, Tustin Hyundai, and Hardin Hyundai in Anaheim. Availability of the Tucson Fuel Cell will expand to other regions of the U.S. consistent with the accelerating deployment of hydrogen refueling stations.
TUCSON FUEL CELL ADVANTAGES
Hyundai has developed its Tucson Fuel Cell to alleviate some of the range and utility 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 fulfill their transportation needs without range or recharging-time concerns to their lifestyle.
The Tucson Fuel Cell is an advanced electric vehicle – one that creates its 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
Refueling time similar to gasoline vehicle of same size
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 in February 2013 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 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 830 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
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