Average Hyundai Tucson FCEV Racks Up Only 6,786 Miles In First Year On Road


Hyundai Tucson ix35

Hyundai Tucson ix35

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell CUV

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell CUV

Hyundai passed its first year of hydrogen fuel cell Tucson availability to consumers in Southern California.

Since June 2014, 70 delivered cars in total covered more than 475,000 miles. That’s more than needed to reach the Moon.

On average that would be just 6,786 miles per car. Or 566 per month, which at 265 miles of range is just over two full refuelings per month.

“Today marks a full year of consumer availability for the first mass-produced fuel cell vehicle, the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell CUV. This innovative hydrogen-powered CUV has been delivered to 70 Southern California residents, who have since accumulated more than 475,000 miles on their local streets and freeways, all while emitting only environmentally-friendly clean water vapor. The Tucson Fuel Cell CUV offers high-versatility, refueling speed similar to gasoline, and an estimated 265 miles of driving range, comparing favorably with similar gasoline vehicles.

This increasing number of real-world fuel cell drivers and their cumulative impact on emissions reduction marks a major milestone in the continuing adoption of fuel cell technology. Recognizing the important role these consumers are taking in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, Hyundai is helping to share their story in a variety of ways.”

Mike O’Brien, vice president, Corporate and Product Planning, Hyundai Motor America said:

“Over the past year, Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell owners are showing the world today that this technology represents the next generation of zero-emissions transportation. Building momentum for fuel cell vehicles and their real-world applications, these customers are sharing their experiences of how the Tucson fits seamlessly into their daily lives.”

Here is interesting story about second owner of Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell in California:

“Dave Uselton, who has been driving the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell in California since June of 2014, lives in Dana Point with his family. Dave is a global consultant who travels extensively and is exposed to various worldwide trends in his line of expertise. Back at home, Dave is very involved in music, both in his own band and supporting the music industry, and enjoys kayaking. His wife is very active with rescue dog efforts, regularly visiting local shelters and bringing abandoned animals to various public venues to help increase their exposure for adoption. The entire family has been quick to adopt the Tucson Fuel Cell in this variety of activities, all emissions-free.”

Category: Hyundai


49 responses to "Average Hyundai Tucson FCEV Racks Up Only 6,786 Miles In First Year On Road"
  1. dingding says:

    WHAT A WASTE OF TIME & ENERGY ! 0r is it Just An Engineering Exercise ????

    1. finecadmin says:

      Well, it _was_ rent seeking:


      …until China called a vape a vape, and stopped considering hydrogen a clean fuel.

    2. Evdrive says:

      Get this weak crap out here. Fool cells for are for fools and tools. I drove my leaf and then my rav4 ev for 15,000 miles a year for the last 4 years. Bring on the longer range ev’s that we can charge at home and at work. Pure supurior ev technology is the future.

      1. Evdrive says:

        I get so mad about fool cells my grammar skills die and I just want to yell, stupid heads!!!

  2. LOU PATRICK says:

    I like the idea of a non polluting fuel source, and for many people who don’t have the ability to charge a BEV at home(apartment dwellers)this has potential. However, I don’t know why anyone would choose this format over BEV if they can charge at home…


  3. sven says:

    Your calculation assumes that all 70 cars were delivered exactly 12 months ago. The 70 cars were delivered over the course of a year, with some racking up mileage for only a month or two. A better metric for average annual mileage would be the current month’s mileage for the 70 FCVs multiplied by 12.

    1. finecadmin says:

      Is that the best you can do?

      Just like the best you could do was link to an analysis that made OUR point, not yours.

      1. sven says:

        What’s your point, besides the one on your head? 😀

        “OUR point”? Who exactly do you think you represent?

        1. Lensman says:

          I think “finecadmin” ends in “admin” because he wants us to think he’s an administrator here. But I doubt he is, both because I’ve never seen that screen name before, and also because administrator posts here are invariably polite… which his post isn’t.

          His post also makes no sense, sven; he said something about a link you posted, but you didn’t post one in this thread.

      2. kubel says:

        He has a point. The data as presented is blatantly misleading and directs readers to a false conclusion. If a car is not on the road for a year, it has no business being calculated in a year-long average. I’ll be first to condemn hydrogen fuel cells as a waste of time and money, but one can lose journalistic integrity presenting data in this way.

        This article should be corrected.

    2. mr. M says:

      Yes, that is the same what i thought. If the 70 vehicles where leased during the whole year, the average holding time might be only 6 months. So the average yearly driven miles would double to 12k miles. Quite close to the average us driver?

      1. Andrew says:

        Yep. My first thought too… Sounds like 1k/mo, Same as US average.

        I do suspect the deliveries were a little front loaded due to demand being shifted to before launch and production ability likely for more than 70.
        With free fuel I have no idea why the owners aren’t driving these everywhere… Unless these are wealthy people who still use their luxury cars as their daily drive.

  4. Harry says:

    I don’t understand why people are so happily willing to tie themselves to gas companies for re-fueling if they have the option to buy an EV and charge at home and, once and for all, cut the umbilical cord that has tied us to the gas companies for nearly a hundred years now.

    1. sven says:

      Electric utilities can be worse than oil/gasoline companies. In my case, the standard electric rate averages $0.31/kWh, while a time-of-use plan has a summer peak rate of $0.42/kWh, and a summer super-peak rate of $1.20/kWh. The off peak rate is $0.14/kWh. It’s actually worse than it seems when you factor in that peak hours run from 8am in the morning until midnight (16 hours every day). Super Peak runs from 2PM to 6PM Monday through Friday during the summer.


      Peak and off-peak hours:

      1. przemo_li says:

        EV drivers will be split into two groups:
        a) those that charge at night
        b) those that charge at work

        Both options are way cheaper!

        On top of that You add some nice batteries, and we end up with both car and house using grid only during night with cheaper tariff.

        Reaching gassoline prices is only possible if/when using fast charging from some of the most expensive providers out there.

      2. ffbj says:

        So maybe you should get a gas generator, or better yet solar panels. Since it is your home and you have control, let’s assume that you are smart enough,(I know a big assumption), to charge in off peak hours at 14 cents an hour between midnight and six am, making your argument invalid by merely charging at the optimum time, which in most situations would be simple enough.
        Those exorbitant/confiscatory rates are aimed at businesses that use large amounts of electricity during the day.

        1. sven says:

          Actually, those are residential electric rates. Commercial/business rates and industrial rates each have their own rate schedules.

          “. . . making your argument invalid by merely charging at the optimum time . . .”

          What argument was I making? I merely stated that “Electric utilities can be worse than oil/gasoline companies” and gave an example.

          Under your plan of buying a battery and charging during off-peak hours, I would end up paying way MORE for electricity, about $0.55/kWh!!! Let’s assume that you are smart enough, (I know a big assumption), to do some basic math. You have to include the cost of battery in the price of electricity by amortizing the cost of the battery over the 10-year useful life of the battery at which point in will be at 80% capacity, therefore it will have an average capacity of 90% over its useful life. The 7kWh Powerwall itself costs only $3,000, but SolarCity is charging $7,340 for the Powerwall, an invertor, and installation. I would need at least two Powerwalls at a total cost of $14,680, which is on top of cost of off-peak electricity. According to Tesla, the Powerwalls have a 92% round-trip DC efficiency. I will assume the Powerwalls will have an 100% depth-of-discharge (unlikely, probably will be 80%), and a 90% inverter efficiency (AC to DC then back to DC).

          Over 10 years I will pay for and put 45,990 kWh of off-peak electricity into the batteries (14 kWh x 10 years x 365 days x 90% average battery capacity) at a cost of $6,439 (45,990 kWh x $0.14/kWh). But I will be able take only 38,080 kWh out of the batteries to use during peak hours (45,990 kWh x 90% inverter efficiency x 92% round-trip DC efficiency), which makes its effective cost $0.17/kWh ($6,439 / 38,080 kWH). The cost of the 38,080 kWh including amortization of the installed cost of the PowerWalls is $21,119 ($6,439 + 14,680), which works out to a whopping $.55/kWh ($21,119 / 38,080 kWh).

          $7,340 SolarCity Powerwall installed cost:

          92% round-trip DC efficiency:

      3. philip d says:

        The second link you provided has off-peak prices year around for the electric vehicle plan at under $.02 kWh! Just charge between midnight and 8am on a level 2 charger and it will cost you a whopping $1 to fill a 50 kWh battery!

        1. sven says:

          I wish!!! 😀

          That’s just the “delivery charge” per kWh and does NOT include the energy cost per kWh. That second link was to show the hours of off-peak/peak/super-peak periods. The first link shows the total cost per kWh which includes both the delivery charge and energy cost per kWh.

          Sorry for the confusion.

          1. philip d says:

            Do you live in one of the 5 boroughs or the suburbs? Apartment or house? Sounds like with Con Edison PV panels would be the way to go unless of course you live in a condo or apartment. Even if they don’t have net metering just simply having to pay $1 kWh at super peak your ROI with PV panels would be short.

    2. Greg says:


  5. finecadmin says:

    “Recognizing the important role these consumers are taking in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, Hyundai is helping”

    Ridiculous. A natural-gas fuel cell would go twice as far, with fewer losses, while filling faster- actually “similar to gasoline,” not significantly slower.

    “how the Tucson fits seamlessly into their daily lives.”

    Sure, finding the million-dollar Potemkin stations fits into one’s life.

    “His wife is very active with rescue dog efforts”

    Too bad this one’s due- Kia won the hedge.

  6. mr. M says:

    A hydrogen vehicle which can be refuled in my own garage using electricity and water would be great. Therefore the range anxienty would be only seldom.

    For sure it is inefficient, but water is longer available than oil. Because water can be produced with reverse osmosis very easily, inefficient, but easy.

    The average buyer doesnt care about inefficents that much as soon as the price is cheap enough. Yes the technology is still expensive, but so are high range batteries.

    1. Jelloslug says:

      Do you realize just how much electricity it would take to make the hydrogen? How are you planning to compress and store the hydrogen? Right now, fuel cell cars cost more than a similarly range battery car and that gap is only going to get bigger.

      1. mr. M says:

        Jup, would be awesome energy inefficient!

        Just reagarding pricing:
        Toyota Mirai: $58,325 with range of 312 miles (EPA)
        Model S85: $80,000 with range of 265 miles (EPA)

        At the moment the toyota is cheaper and can drive further. Dont misunderstand me, the TCO of the mirai is way bigger than for the model s and so the mirai will lose, but you can not say that hydrogen is more expensive regarding range if you just walk to the showroom.

        For hydrogen range is cheap, but performance is expensive. For BEVs it is flipped. I think range will get cheaper for batteries, so BEVs will win in the future, but in 2015 they are more or less even.

        I think the perfect future vehicle would be a hydrogen range extender for a ~80 mile electric car. hydrogen with only 25-40kW would be a cheaper stack and enough for almost all situations (with a hill mode available).

        1. Lensman says:

          mr. M said:

          “For hydrogen range is cheap…”

          Nope. About a cost between $8 and $15 per kilogram of dispensed hydrogen fuel, it’s a heck of a lot more expensive, per mile, than gasoline. In fact, it’s so expensive that some “fool cell” auto makers have promised customers a free year or three of fuel, to mask the true cost. Hopefully those FCEV owners will only be leasing their cars, so they can get rid of them as soon as they understand just how expensive they are to fuel.

          Hydrogen fuel is also significantly more polluting than gasoline. The idea that hydrogen fuel is “green” is the ultimate greenwashing lie. Sure, the car itself emits no pollution, but the pollution emitted in the production and distribution is significantly worse per mile than gasoline.

        2. Curious Math (with typo’s corrected):
          “Just regarding pricing:
          Toyota Mirai: $58,325 with range of 312 miles (EPA)
          Model S85: $80,000 with range of 265 miles (EPA)

          At the moment the Toyota is cheaper and can drive further.” – Actually – the Tesla can drive Further (Just not ‘per charge’ – but – it can drive further!)!

          Care to drive that Mirai from LA – up here to Toronto, Ontario (Without a Flatbed, Enclosed Transport, or other Help Vehicle)?

          Toyota, and Hyundai, are all talking about ‘How Fast it will Fill’ and ‘How far it can go on a fill’, but not talk much about – how far it can go ‘Away from home base’ in a Week, Month, or a Year!

          Sure – Our Local Commuters for Toronto could get by if they lived near an H2 Station, and the city had about 4 (one near each corner of the city), but – was not the pitch – ‘How far they can go’ on a fill?

          Sun Country Highway – built the “World’s Longest Greenest Highway Project” back in 2012, and then Drove it in the Tesla Roadster they had! One Company did that leg work, for a car with less range than the Mirai, Will Toyota Do the Same for the Mirai in Canada (on their Dime)? Doubtful! They will Lobby, Cajole, and Harass, Governments across Canada to ‘Chip In’ on their experiment, making everyone pay for their idea!

          See World’s Longest Greenest Highway: http://www.suncountryhighway.com/en/home/wlghp

          Since that time – they have gone on to begin filling in the gaps so cars like a LEAF, or similar could make the same trip! While Toyota Showed the Mirai at the Toronto Auto Show – and handed the keys to the first Canadian Owner there, they will be picking up their Mirai in Vancouver, the only city in Canada with H2 Fueling, and just 1 station can deliver the 10,000 PSI needed to actually get a full tank, as 5,000 PSI Pumps, will only give it a partial fill! The Winter Olympics H2 FCV Buses used the lower Pressure Systems at just 5,000 PSI, so while there are other places they can fuel besides the one, there is only one that can give them a proper fill!

          In 2006, I drove an EV Conversion, that had been built 12 years earlier by High School Students, and I could get a charge, long before they had any ‘Public Charging’ activity, just by asking, and maybe (one time) paying $5! The Infrastructure exists for BEV’s but not for FCV’s, and the only needs are the interface to connect to the cars and safely deliver the electricity. They call these – EVSE [Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment], and we typically call them ‘Charging Stations’, or – with an even stronger error in naming: ‘EV Chargers’ when – (unless they are DC Fast Chargers), the actual charger is in the car itself!

          You can see a lot of EV Conversions (and a few modern Electric OEM EV’s) on EV Album: http://evalbum.com/ and for about 3-4 years plus, the most are no longer built with Lead Acid Batteries, like Mine was built around, but use LiFePO4 Cells!

    2. Mikael says:

      Or you just add a few kWh of batteries so that you can recharge easily at home.

      1. mr. M says:

        Yes, add a little bit of battery (10-20kWh) that can ba recharged at home, this would make a great vehicle. Well… as soon as the hydrogen station roulout nationwide would get started.

        1. The ‘Map’ Shows Clusters of station in LA and SanFrancisco, with just 1 planned between them – http://www.cafcp.org/stationmap

          This sounds weaker than the Basic 8 stations Tesla had for Superchargers – before they began to do the big expansion!

          1st – what if – in your FCV Mirai, halfway to the (Planned) Coalingua H2 Station – you have to turn around and go home? What if – just past halfway? Is there enough range from there to LA or SF in the Mirai – in all conditions?

          Plus – most of these station in this map are yellow markers – “Permitting in process”, There is nothing for Northern California, and not much outside of these two Cities – so mostly they are focusing on supporting – just Commuting, and about any 100 mile (93 – 107 Miles at current) BEV’s, can handle the Commuting demands! Way too much money on so many clustered stations because these FCV’s have what seems to be less ‘Battery Only’ EV Range than the Original Toyota Prius!

          Heck – if they had just half of the Volts original Target Battery Range, and about as much as the Ford PHEV’s (~20 Miles AER on Battery), with chargers at home (120V) and at work (Also 120V), they could reduce the number of H2 Stations by a lot – maybe 50% or more – and put them instead – each 80 – 120 miles between the two major Cities with the current (or what would be) excess stations!

          Reason – they could do 70% – 90% of their Commutes, all on Battery Range, and the FCV – would become an insurance policy, and need fueling about 1/4 of the number of trips, maybe once or twice a month, but with more miles available to be traveled! There would still be enough places in these two cities to fuel them up on H2, because on a full 20 mile charge, and nearly no H2 on board, they could make it to a station to fill, in extreme moments!

          If the Battery range doubled – to deliver just 40 miles range, the Batteries could cover 85% – 95% of all local trips, commuting, errands, and the like; and – since they have the Fuel Cell as a Range Extender, they could fully drain the battery to the empty limits of the design, with no worries – as Volt Drivers have shown! Bump that up to 60 miles range, + Fuel Cell, and some 92% – 98% of Commuting, Local Trips, and trips to the beach, could be covered – without needing any of that precious, expensive Hydrogen!

          Numbers presented, are my WAG’s, but for the most part – it seems like Volt Stats could be studied for better references! – http://www.voltstats.net/
          “Fleet” Total: EV Miles = 26338957.07; Total Miles = 37279663.54; EV% = 70.7 as at Sunday, October 11th, 2015, ~ 6:00 AM.

    3. Lensman says:

      mr. M said:

      “A hydrogen vehicle which can be refuled in my own garage using electricity and water would be great…

      “The average buyer doesnt care about inefficents that much as soon as the price is cheap enough.”

      Your latter statement is absolutely correct, but your first statement the complete reverse. Clearly you have no idea just how massively inefficient a small-scale, home-brew setup would be for generating and compressing hydrogen fuel for a car.

      If you saw a breakdown of the costs, of just how massively inefficient it would be and how much electricity you’d consume in fueling a “fool cell” car at home, you’d very quickly come to understand why hydrogen fuel will never, ever be able to compete on price with gasoline, let alone electricity used to charge batteries!

    4. Someone out there says:

      And where does the electricity come from? EV detractors are usually quick to point out that in many places the electricity grid is very dirty. Ok sure. However, splitting water requires a HUGE amount of that same dirty coal powered electricity, several times more than what the equivalent EV would use for the same job so even water-splitted hydrogen is “dirty”.

  7. Lensman says:

    “Over the past year, Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell owners are showing the world today that this technology represents the next generation of zero-emissions transportation. Building momentum for fuel cell vehicles and their real-world applications, these customers are sharing their experiences of how the Tucson fits seamlessly into their daily lives.”

    I find the level of mendacity in this press release to be positively nauseating. I’ve frequently complained about the level of hype in Tesla’s advertising, but compared to this, Tesla’s PRs are the very model of strict adherence to the Truth.

    * * * * *

    Marketing lies aside, I’m surprised and pleased that Hyndai only managed to sell 70 “fool cell” vehicles in an entire year. I guess there aren’t as many people out there capable of being fooled by all the B.S. shoveled out by Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda as I thought.

    1. ffbj says:

      No kidding. I like the building momentum line, Oh Brother! Technically correct since any movement off zero would be considered a build in momentum, but with Toyota pushing as hard as it may this block of FCV granite is barely moving.

    2. Djoni says:

      Sell? I thought they were lease so far.

      1. Lensman says:

        You’re correct, Hyundai’s website says lease only, not purchase.

        But when auto makers report “sales” figures, that includes leases.

  8. Ocean Railroader says:

    I think Hydrogen Cars are on track to be like the steam powered cars of the 1900’s. The steam powered cars needed special fueling stations and had limited range. Not to mention they were expensive to maintain and run.

    1. The metaphor might be apt in another way. Steam cars had an Achilles heel. When the high pressure steam tanks were ruptured, the resulting damage made the original accident look almost inconsequential by comparison.

      10,000 PSI. That’s a lot of zeros if something goes wrong.

      1. James says:

        The kill radius is 30 feet, the broken windows radius is 300 feet. It only takes one accident to wipe out all investment in hydrogen vehicles.
        Lets hope that they are abandoned before then.

        1. sven says:

          Fear monger much?

        2. Lensman says:


          “The kill radius is 30 feet, the broken windows radius is 300 feet.”

          Well, science isn’t for everyone.

          From all the hysterical posts about the supposed dangers of exploding FCEV fuel tanks, you’d never know that a “fool cell” car’s fuel tank contains far less chemical energy than a typical gasmobile’s fuel tank.

          There are plenty of rational reasons why “fool cell” cars will never, ever compete with PEVs or gasmobiles; reasons based on real-word physics and real-world economics. The invented fantasy of mega-explosions from hydrogen fuel tanks is not one of those reasons.

      2. Nix says:

        10,000 PSI is the vehicle’s tank pressure.

        The source tank that is used to fill the car’s tank has to be at even higher pressure for the fill rate to be fast. Most H2 filling station tanks operate at 16,000 to 20,000 psi.

        The internet is full of pictures of cars wrecking into gas stations. When cars start wrecking into a hydrogen filling stations, things will get interesting……

  9. It will be interesting to see what happens to the Tucson and Mirai sales curves once $35k, 200 mile EVs are available from GM, Nissan, VW and Tesla.

    Early adopters are notorious for doing their homework. At some point, Toyota and Hyundai are going to run out of captive customers (vendors, vendor employees) willing to pay a premium to move the FCV off lots to show “momentum”.

    1. Lensman says:

      I don’t think we’ll have to wait for 2017 and the appearance on the market of nominally “200 mile” PEVs for “fool cell” car sales to drop off. I’d bet money that sales in the second 12 months will be sharply down over sales during the first 12 months. Any “momentum” will be in a strongly negative direction after the (quite low) initial demand is exhausted.

      In fact, I’d guess that if we could see a graph of the first 12 months of sales from all three auto makers, with the data overlapped so all three data sets start in the same month, it would look a lot like this:

  10. Someone out there says:

    How many of these 70 vehicles are driven by Hyundai employees, who I assume would get a great deal on these lead balloons?

    1. Lensman says:

      Finding a place to refuel a “fool cell” car won’t be any less inconvenient for Hyundai employees than anyone else, so I doubt they’d be any more likely to buy one for personal use than anyone else.

      My guess is that the majority of sales are to the approx. two dozen existing government or corporate fleets of hydrogen powered cars; fleets which have their own private hydrogen fueling stations.

  11. James says:

    Hydrogen cars are DOA.
    Hyundai should bail asap. Toyota has a multi-billion write down coming up.

  12. kubel says:

    This article is based on fundamentally flawed calculations of averages. The majority of the Tucson FCEVs have not been on the road for a year, yet you are including them in a yearly average.

    This should be edited so as to not spin a false narrative.

    1. ffbj says:

      Right. We certainly don’t want any false spin regarding the viability of fuel cell vehicles.