Hyundai To Increase Fuel Cell Car Sales 15-Times In 2018…To 3,600 Cars

3 months ago by Mark Kane 32

Hyundai Fuel Cell FE Concept

Hyundai often reminds us in its various promotion materials that the ix35 Fuel Cell, which was introduced in 2013, is the first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell car on the market (27 were sold in 2013).

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell

However, we are not convinced about the “mass-market” aspect, as according to the BusinessKorea, there was only 666 sold in the first four years of its availability (2013-2016). Some 128 of that total have been registered in South Korea as of May, 2017.

Still, with 242 Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell sold in 2016, Hyundai’s latest goal of 3,600 sales in 2018 for the new hydrogen model is like increasing the bar 15-times!

As a point of reference, Toyota hopes to deliver 3,000 Mirai in 2017 after 2,843 were delivered between 2014-2016.

Helping it get to these goals, the Korean manufacturer intends to begin production of its new FE Fuel Cell model in February of next year. The concept was shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

source: BusinessKorea

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32 responses to "Hyundai To Increase Fuel Cell Car Sales 15-Times In 2018…To 3,600 Cars"

  1. WadeTyhon says:

    “there was only 666 sold in the first four years of its availability (2013-2016). ”

    666? Coincidence? I think not! 😉

    I would be happier if they managed to sell that many of one of their plug-in models next year.

    How is it possible they think 3600 people would buy a HFC but not a Sonata PHEV?

    1. mx says:

      Max number to pull in the California CARB credits and Nothing Else.

      California should KILL the Hydrogen subsidy and put the money into CCS Fast Charging every 75 miles along it’s highway infrastructure.

      That would be Far Better Spend on money and reduce Pollution far more.

      1. Terawatt says:

        Yes. It is perverse how CARB gives a much bigger credit to FCEV makes than BEVs, when the latter is much more sustainable, efficient and above all economical than the former. I understand that FCEVs are incredibly expensive and thus need more help to get going, but this would only be a valid point if FCEVs could eventually become cheaper or do more good than BEVs – the reverse, of course, is the case. As it stands you get much greater credit for achieving much less while spending more to do it, and that is, again, simply perverse.

        1. Mopey says:

          I hate this misinformation and outright lies from people commenting here, it’s utterly frustrating to see such a disingenuous discussion.

          People like me living in cities can’t choose to drive a BEV since there’s no dedicated parking or charging, and there can’t be enough for all the people driving cars in the cities. For folks like me, FCEVs are the ONLY viable option for zero emission transportation.

          And while some are talking about funding: FCEVs take the smallest slice of LCFS credits, much more is taken up by Teslas and the other $100,000 cars which for some reason need to get an incentive.

          Folks need to admit that batteries cannot replace Diesel trucks or kerosene fueled airplanes. In order to get to zero emissions, hydrogen is the only way at this time.

          The main reason FCEVs is lagging behind is because vast amounts of money are given to EV infrastructure and BEV subsidies, starting in 2009 with billions of ARRA funding that went to TESLA, Fisker, A123 and so forth. FCEVs got nothing. That money alone could’ve paid for 2000+ hydrogen fueling stations in the U.S.

          Finally, the amounts of rare earths for batteries needed if all vehicles in the US were to be converted to EVs are considerable and will lead to shortages and price increases.

  2. David Murray says:

    Their energy would be better spent getting more production for the Ioniq BEV…

    1. Rich says:

      +1 was just thinking the same.

    2. Prsnep says:

      I’m pretty sure they know what they are doing.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        It’s hard to believe any auto maker wasting money on actually trying to mass produce a science fair experiment like a “fool cell” car, knows what it’s doing.

        It looks a lot more like those auto makers facing the last gasp of the gasmobile are desperately grasping at straws rather than face the reality that battery-electric vehicles will make the gasmobile obsolete in less than a single human generation (currently 25.5 years).

        1. john Doe says:

          I think, with development – fuel cell, or a fuel cell/BEV hybrid will be a part of the future.

          It will probably be a niche market – but a BEV will not do the job for everybody.

          We made a hydrogen fuel cell car at the university many years ago.
          We converted an old tiny Peugeot.
          The university used solar cells to produce electricity, and the surplus was stores as hydrogen gas in underground tanks.
          We could then use the hydrogen for free fuel for 3 years.

          We used a Canadian fuel cell, some fairly low pressure tanks (where the back seats were supposed to be), and had a fairly tiny motor and battery.
          I have no idea, how powerful it was – but with two people we could drive at least 60km/h. We neved had it on a highway.
          It was not really legal, due to regulations in Norway (expensive and takes a lot of time to get it approved). I don’t think two huge tanks with minor collision protection in the back would be popular 🙂
          But being from Norway, and have free fuel – that is a nice feeling. Especially for students.

          Of coures we could have just buildt an EV at the time – but batteries back then were no god. Nobody had thought about using lithium ion batteries. We stored the evergy from the fuel cell in a nickel metal hydrid battery we assembled ourself.

          In the winter, we felt the reduced energy production. And it was a weak car to begin with. We also had no heater. Just the heating in the seats, and a amature heated front window. But where I live in Norway, we really don’t have that much snow normally. So we managed.

          Hyundai have made real progress in price, from one model to the next. I think with volume, prices will come down.
          And as long at surplus energy from solar cells, water and wind turbines could be used – I see no problem with this. I know about the loss in converting from one thing to another.. but with the way energy production is heading – there will be surplus energy in the future.
          If the hydrogen is made from oil/gas.. I don’t see that much of an improvement.

          I think as a range extender, that is where we will see most hydrogen fuel cells in the future. Get it small enough, and it could charge the batteries.
          But price must be right.
          A fuel cell car made by Toyota or Hyundai is complex, and I think this may be problematic – unless they can make it highly integrated.

          1. SparkEV says:

            Not sure how involved you were in the project, but did you calculate the energy efficiency? If you were doing simple minded electrolysis + compression, you’d be losing about half. Then the FC stack to convert back to electricity would lose another half. Combined with inverter, etc. you’d be less efficient than gas engine.

            But if you charged the batteries from solar panels using DC, it would be about 90% efficient, depending on chemistry (LiIon being lot better than most).

            This is why FCEV doesn’t make sense. If you have surplus, you can simply charge the batteries in BEV instead of throwing away most of it as heat to store H for FCEV.

            Another curious point is why you didn’t use the waste heat from FC stack as heater. FC stack is a great heater since about half the energy is wasted as heat.

            1. Bruce Milller says:

              Aluminum Storage Breakthrough Hydrogen Economy now possible
              The accidental discovery of a novel aluminum alloy that reacts with water in a highly unusual way may be the first step to reviving the struggling hydrogen economy. It could offer a convenient and portable source of hydrogen for fuel cells and other applications, potentially transforming the energy market and providing an alternative to batteries and liquid fuels.

          2. Terawatt says:

            When was this? Did you go to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim (NTNU in Norwegian, the old NTH)?

            It seems a bit odd to speak of an FCEV/BEV hybrid side every FCEV is in fact that, albeit without a plug in most cases.

            What are the cases you have in mind, where the BEV won’t do the job? Do you seriously believe they are enough to justify an entire hydrogen infrastructure, given the difficulties involved with handling hydrogen at high pressure?

            To my mind, it is insanity. FAR better to use the range extender route, but with pretty big batteries, for the few cases that are hard to do with only batteries. Towing a camping wagon for instance is still really out of the question in practice. Charging stations aren’t built for it, so even if you could go 4-500 km per charge it would be very inconvenient – you would have to find somewhere to put the camper, detach it, then go to charge and come back to get the camper…

            On the other hand a range extender (series hybrid) car with 50 kWh could be used in all electric more nearly all the time at home and would be just as convenient as any fossil car during the holiday.

            The best way to deal with this would simply be to seriously raise the cost of polluting. I’m sure we will take this route in Norway, but not yet because it would be much too hard on those who can’t afford to switch cars just like that. Ten years from now when half the used cars on the market are BEVs it will be a different story.

            Hydrogen infrastructure will cost MUCH more than simply the increased cost of an electric grid to cope with everyone driving BEVs – and we’re not going to so having an electric grid – even if everyone drive FCEVs. This technology only covering the fringe cases makes such infrastructure even more costly.

            Using sun and wind to make electricity, use that to make hydrogen, computers and distribute it, convert it in a fuel cell to charge a battery is necessarily always going to be less energy efficient and more expensive than cutting out the middle steps and just charge the battery straight from wind and sun power. If fuel cells were super cheap and batteries were prohibitively expensive maybe that could outweigh the fuel cost and energy efficiency disadvantage, but fuel cells are more expensive than batteries and likely to remain so. Even if not, batteries are fast becoming cheap enough to more than pay for themselves with the energy savings alone, so that even free fuel cells would not be competitive.

            Last but not least batteries may still improve dramatically. It’s a complicated thing, but we know we are very far from the fundamental limits imposed by the laws of physics. I wouldn’t get against batteries costing one third and offering the times the capacity ten years from now.

            Hydrogen’s day may come, but I believe it simply doesn’t make sense until we have fusion and energy efficiency becomes a moot point. Then hydrogen’s advantages – high energy density of ~40 kWh/kg and an unlimited supply given how fast water circulates – may matter more, and our technology and financial means generally may have improved so much that the infrastructure wouldn’t present any problems.

      2. Vidar B says:

        I will buy one if the price is ok . Best Fuel to use in the future. No polution at all.

        1. Terawatt says:

          The fuel cost alone will matter more than the car price if this ever becomes a mainstream thing. But don’t worry, it won’t. It’s a stupid idea unless you already have fusion power.

      3. mx says:

        LOL. They’d be the first ICE producer who know what they were doing.

  3. Mikael says:

    666, the number of the oil companies beast.

    When the car companies at least start making range extended plugin FCEV EVs or bare minimum at least a standard PHEV FCEV then maybe they are not totally bought.

  4. James P Heartney says:

    Fuel cells are a credible future power source for trucks, buses, trains and boats. Cars? Not so much. Currently a grand total of 39 hydrogen fueling stations here in the U.S.

    1. speculawyer says:

      Yeah, I can see them finding some niche applications. But the light-duty car market…that just isn’t going to work. Pure EVs and PHEVs are too established.

      And we can’t get people to build a good public charging network…good luck finding someone to speculatively built a Hydrogen fueling network when they can’t sell the cars. It’s a nonstarter.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Fuel cells may be a credible way to power vehicles, but compressed hydrogen gas isn’t.

      For fuel cells to be a “credible” way to power transportation fleets, they have to be powered with a practical fuel. There is no way to improve the physical or chemical properties of hydrogen itself to magically transform it into a practical fuel.

    3. Gasbag says:

      That website is wrong. There are 35 stations but one of those went out of business and 4 more haven’t opened yet. There are 29 operational in CA and 4 more to come this year. All in CA. In 2018 we will add 18 more stations but contrary to ARBs recent report the lack of stations is not holding FCs back. CA’s 29 stations should be able to support over 25,000 FCs. There are only 1,600 registered.

    4. Terawatt says:

      If the hydrogen is made on site at the ferry docks I can just about believe this could possibly be a niche application. Since a ferry doesn’t need much freedom of travel the system cost could maybe be kept under control and pay for itself after fifty years, of the alternative is diesel or similar and the cost of polluting must be paid by the polluter!

      But even in ferries batteries will play a bigger role. Most routes are short and ten minutes of fast charging at the turnaround is enough, as we already see with the first such routes in Norway in full commercial operation today. As batteries get cheaper, more energy dense and capable of faster charging the niche for hydrogen gets ever more squeezed, and the small market will mean higher cost. I doubt there will be much talk about it ten years from now. But if we get fusion per the idea should be reconsidered as energy would be virtually free and unlimited, making efficiency irrelevant.

  5. orinoco says:

    I did a quick research in a german online car market place. BEVs are about 3 magnitudes behind ICE cars. FCHEVs are about 3 magnitudes behind BEVs, which means they are 6(!) magnitudes behind ICE cars.
    FCHEVs are nothing but a red herring, the promised land, that will never come.

    1. Terawatt says:

      It’s very early days still, even for EVs 😉

      BEVs aren’t three orders of magnitude (OOM) behind ICE in terms of sales. They are just over two OOM behind, as anyone can calculate in their head from the fact that they are nearly one percent of the global market.

      In terms of installed base however they really are nearly three OOM behind. But the past hardly matters in this context.

      There’s a total 1300 million passenger cars currently on the roads, of which about 2 million are EVs (by which I mean BEVs as hybrids are hybrid, not electric any more than they are fossil!) and fewer than 0,01 million are FCEVs.

      I’d love to see Toyota sell half a million Mirais at a huge loss and go bust. I will seriously celebrate the day, if ever it arrives, when we get rid of that evil corporation!!

  6. Eco says:

    A fuel cell RANGE EXTENDER might make sense for a PHEV …

    1. Chris O says:

      Good luck designing a business case for a billion dollar network of H-stations that only serve for the residual 10% or so of miles that aren’t home charged for those theoretical hydrogen PHEVs with decent AER.

      …or a business case for infrastructure for pure HFCVs for that matter, the economics of it all make the whole proposition a non starter.

  7. speculawyer says:

    Good luck finding buyers!

  8. P.Roger says:

    FCEV is the MiniDisc of EV.

  9. Roy_H says:

    This is bad news. Why are they doing this? Simply because oil companies have lobbied politicians around the world to promote FCVs and governments pay auto companies to produce FCVs. Governments are also paying to install the distribution infrastructure for Hydrogen which is an extraordinary waste of taxpayer money. Oil companies are the beneficiaries of FCVs and they should pay for the development and distribution network, not taxpayers.

    The best way to save this enormous future expense is to refuse to purchase or lease FCVs from any company. Those who do, are justifying to politicians this $Trillion program.

  10. Steven says:

    Dear Hyundai,
    Long story short, I live in Pennsylvania.
    I have absolutely no interest in compliance cars.
    I have absolutely no interest in a fuel cell powered vehicle.

    It’s BEV or nothing.

    The guy who has purchased six Hyundai’s since ’93.

  11. BenG says:

    A solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) running on ethanol could be a practical low-carbon solution as a range extender for the transportation market. I think Nissan has demo fleet of these.

    Hydrogen has too many drawbacks. Prefer a liquid fuel for sure, ethanol is a good match: relatively safe, easy manufactured as a biofuel, and easy to reform for use with an SOFC, which isn’t nearly so picky about fuel as the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells used by auto manufacturers at present.

  12. BenG says:

    I guess we can at least call it mass-produced now that they are getting volume up over 100 per month, lol.

    Still basically the size of a demo fleet.

    Battery EVs are kicking their butts so hard it’s not funny.

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