Hyundai Leased Only 70 Tucson Fuel Cell SUVs In U.S. In First Year Of Availability

MAY 26 2015 BY MARK KANE 21

2016 Toyota Mirai Pace Car

2016 Toyota Mirai Pace Car

The race of the turtlesmass-produced” hydrogen cars has begun!

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell moved into the lead with 70 units delivered (“leased“) in the US in the first year of availability.

Lead in the second year will be much more difficult to maintain, as Toyota already announced production plans for a whopping 400 units in Japan and 300 divided between the US and Europe in the whole of 2015.

From this stage, the turtles will slowly gain speed reaching 3,000 Mirais produced for worldwide sales in 2017.

But let’s get back to the Hyundai Tucson ix35, which in US can be leased for $499 per month for a 36-month term ($2,999 due at lease signing, excludes fees and taxes). That’s a lot, but Hyundai include unlimited free SuperRefueling hydrogen, provided you can find a hydrogen station in vehicle range of 265 miles.

Hydrogen stations in California

Hydrogen stations in California

2016 version will be available in with new colors (Hydro Blue and Chromium Silver on top of the previous Winter White).

Dave Zuchowski, president and chief executive officer, Hyundai Motor America said:

“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. 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.”

Press blast:


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 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.


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.


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.


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

Source: Autoblog

Categories: Hyundai


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21 Comments on "Hyundai Leased Only 70 Tucson Fuel Cell SUVs In U.S. In First Year Of Availability"

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Oh boy! Let the train wreck begin!

The turtle always wins the race.

HFCVs: A beautiful theory slain by not one, but two, ugly facts:

1. Hydrogen is a stupid choice for a motor vehicle fuel.

2. People don’t want them.

But aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln…

Slight correction: hydrogen is a lousy energy storage medium.

You could make the same argument that gasoline is an energy storage medium as well. Hydrocarbons can be created by any number of means. We can create them synthetically, or pump them out of the ground. Even the oil under ground was created by a natural means, but still required energy to create.

But gasoline is a nice energy storage medium. Liquid at our ambient temps so easy transport, storage, etc. No pressurization to deal with. Very energy dense.

Its downfall is pollution & greenhouse gas emisions though.

I’m not in the industry at all but it’s my guess that the bulk of these leases went to the various Federal, State and local agencies on taxpayer dime instead of to the general public.

Was recently surprised to find out that here in Northern California, there are many such agencies that “get” EV’s for the purpose of “evaluation” or something like that.

To some degree, doing this in California is a terrible place. We are now flooded with a good number of inexpensive EVs. Why buy an expensive fuel cell car that you can’t drive far despite its range (because there are no hydrogen stations further away!) when you can buy a really cheap LEAF, Fiat 500e, Spark EV, Volt, etc.??

My view of hydrogen in a fossil free future: 1) Batteries will continue to prevail over H2 for personal transport. 2) Batteries will prevail for inner city to suburban delivery vans / trucks / buses. 3) Batteries in trains, but the primary power will come from electric lines (overhead or under rail) to power most rail. The battery’s primary job would be to decrease surge loads on power, with enough reserve to move the train through areas of broken power service, and boost on hills, REGEN on braking and downhill. For mountainous terrain, whole rail cars can be filled with batteries; a hybrid of AC power and batteries. Since trains are already electric powered, with a diesel generator, this conversion will be somewhat benign. 4) Electricity Grid storage – lots of options, because weight / size / relative danger of the storage medium doesn’t matter as much. However, while efficency most certainly does matter, ultimate cost will win out over efficiency. I see many of the same combinations used today… water pumping, dam storage, plus H2 and increasingly batteries as price decreases. 5) Airplanes – hybrid – batteries used like trains, to boost climb power, and store descent energy (very… Read more »

I would like to know who is on the list of 70 fool cells.

If the incentives for h2 stay this will be a battle of dollars (hydrogen) vs. sense (electric)

How do you sell a car that :

1. has nothing more to offer than ICE cars.
2. has a lot of downside compare to ICE cars.

Simple : you don’t sell it.

I wonder how long they can give away free hydrogen, thus keeping the true price out of view. Assume the first wave of purchasers (not leases) get free hydrogen, but then try to sell their cars on the used market to people (who are more price sensitive) who will have to pay market price for their hydrogen, and find it is about double than equivalent for gas. This will make a used fuel-cell car cheap.

Any updates on the Tucson Plug in Hybrid?

Hyundai would not be able to keep them in stock.

yes, will someone please leak the list of the 70… it would be so interesting.

Perhaps the 70 made Hyundai sign a Non Disclosure Agreement 😉

big oïl people trying to start a new fuel system.

Neither Hyundai nor Toyota will sell anyone an FCV. They can only be leased. If I were a car thief, I’d steal an FCV and hide it for a few years. FCVs will be a rare collectors car some day just like the Chrysler turbine car.

Anyone know their actual production numbers? They promised 1000 by the end of this year in 2013.

I wonder if they have pared back planned production volume.

I find it amusing that some are still trying to defend “fool cell” vehicles as if they are (or at least someday can be) a real alternative to either gas guzzlers or battery-powered cars. So long as they’re powered by hydrogen fuel, that will never happen.

Despite all the hype about FCVs (Fuel Cell Vehicles) from Toyota, Hyundai and Honda, one only needs to look at the very low number of FCVs they are actually building to realize they don’t believe their own hype.

Too bad some have swallowed the pro-FCV Kool-Aid which the FCV makers are spewing out. It’s clear that those pumping out the Kool-Aid have not drunk it themselves.

That many?