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Hyundai to offers fuel-cell powered Tucson

Hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric vehicle to be available in spring 2014 – in the U.S.

Published: November 26, 2013, 2:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 3:00 PM

Hyundai has announced plans to offer a mass-produced version of its next-generation Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle in the U.S. market, beginning next Spring.

It will be available initially at several Southern California Hyundai dealers in the Angeles/Orange County region for $499 per month for a 36-month term, with $2,999 down. Availability will expand to other regions of the U.S. consistent with the deployment of hydrogen refueling stations, the company said.

The lease price will include unlimited free hydrogen refueling and maintenance. "It’s our way of saying: ‘This is another thing you don’t have to worry about, we’ve got your back,’" said John Krafcik, president and chief executive officer, Hyundai Motor America.

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"The superior range and fast-fill refueling speed of our Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle contrast with the lower range and slow-charge characteristics of competing battery electric vehicles," Krafcik explained. "We think fuel cell technology will increase the adoption rate of zero-emission vehicles, and we’ll all share the environmental benefits." he added.

Because of the inherent weight and cost of batteries, and the chemistry and physics that drive slow recharge times, today’s electric vehicles have practical limits for many consumers.

Fuel-cell electric vehicles offer greater range and flexibility by generating the electricity they use on-board.

Plus, they are said to provide lower total well-to-wheel emissions than battery electric vehicles.

Key attributes of the Tucson Fuel Cell are said to include:

> Driving range up to 480 km

> Capable of full refueling in under 10 minutes, similar to gasoline

> Minimal reduction in daily utility compared with its gasoline counterpart

> Instantaneous electric motor torque (221 lb-ft)

> Minimal cold-weather effects compared with battery electric vehicles

>No moving parts within the power-generating fuel cell stack

> Quieter EV operation

> Zero greenhouse-gas emissions, emits only water vapor

The Tucson Fuel Cell will begin mass production for the U.S. market in February 2014 at the Ulsan, Korea assembly plant that also manufactures the Tucson gasoline-powered CUV.