First Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Delivered In California



Californian Timothy Bush is the first person to get the keys to the new Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell crossover…which comes with free fuel. It will cost him just $499 a month to drive what could be the future of alternative fuel vehicles.

While hydrogen has plenty of detractors, that hasn’t discouraged Hyundai from investing heavily into a fuel cell version of their popular Tucson crossover. Nor did it discourage Timothy, who plunked down a $2,999 down payment in addition to the $499 a month lease. The lease includes free access to unlimited amounts of hydrogen fuel at one of a growing number of fueling stations across California, though the number of stations are still few and far between. With a 265 mile driving range though, it retains the same range as the gas-powered version, and can fill up in ten minutes.

That’s why automakers are pushing fuel cell vehicles; they combine the convenience of gas vehicles with the zero-emissions driving of electric cars. However, some recent studies have pointed out that it takes just as much energy to make hydrogen fuel as it does gasoline, and the lack of infrastructure puts it at a real disadvantage compared to EVs.

But this is just the first wave of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and Hyundai isn’t alone. Production of the Toyota FCV begins this December, and Honda plans on rolling out a production fuel cell vehicle in 2015 as well. It’s a bold move in light of the rising interest in electric vehicles, but you’ve got to admit that free fuel and zero tailpipe emissions is a tempting reason to get on board the hydrogen hype train.


About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • Bi-Polar Bear

    As a recent article on your site pointed out, the Japanese government and manufacturers are placing big bets on hydrogen powered cars as an alternative to electrics. Yes, its true. It take a LOT of energy to unlock hydrogen from water molecules. It also takes a lot of energy to generate electricity to recharge EV’s.

    There is no free lunch. Not until technology brings us abundant, affordable, clean energy from renewable resources will we escape the curse of pollution that comes from burning things to make energy.

    But that day is coming and getting closer all the time.

    • Wiggletoes

      Cellulosic ethanol is renewable and the final prototype plants are coming online in the next several months with the Federal cost incentives still in place so they are building them but will people realize that these are the real electric cars but just with range extenders?

    • AaronD12

      It takes 50kWh to extract and compress 1kg of hydrogen from water. That same 50kW can move a Tesla Model S (one of the least-efficient EVs because of its size and weight) over 150 miles. This doesn’t even take into account transport, storage, and the associated cryogenic storage or the ~60% efficiency of fuel cells.

  • jumping jack flash

    Who cares if H2 “energy cycle” efficiency is low? As long as it is even slightly higher than gasoline efficiency, H2 wins. Why? Because you can use ANY method you know to produce the energy needed to produce hydrogen for your car.

    Instead, if you use gasoline on a car… you can ONLY use gasoline. For ever (or until crude oil lasts).

    I’d like anyway to find actual data about H2 “well to wheel” (water to wheel? 🙂 ) efficiency, any official source?

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