Are you ready for our hydrogen fuel cell-powered future? Hyundai says it is, naming its Tucson fuel cell model “the World’s First Mass-Produced Fuel Cell Vehicle” in a press release.
The 2015 model will be up for lease starting in Spring 2014 at several Southern California Hyundai dealers, with a lease payment of $499 for 36 months after paying $2,999 down.
Hyundai Motor America President and CEO John Krafcik said, “Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles represent the next generation of zero-emission vehicle technology, so we’re thrilled to be a leader in offering the mass-produced, federally certified Tucson Fuel Cell to retail customers. 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. We think fuel cell technology will increase the adoption rate of zero-emission vehicles, and we’ll all share the environmental benefits.”
In addition to the dubious advantage of being able to point and laugh as you drive past your friends at the gas station, if you’re an early adopter of the Tucson fuel cell vehicle, you’ll get unlimited free hydrogen refueling at Hyundai refueling sites.
Krafcik said, “When we spoke to customers interested in driving a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, many wondered what the cost of hydrogen would be. To ease those concerns as we build-out the hydrogen refueling network, we thought covering this cost for these early adopters in the monthly payment was the best approach, and consistent with other aspects of our Hyundai Assurance program. It’s our way of saying: ‘This is another thing you don’t have to worry about, we’ve got your back.’”
The Tucson fuel cell vehicle should have a driving range of about 300 miles, with a typical refueling time of 10 minutes or less. The electric motor supplies 221 ft-lbs of “near-instantaneous torque,” according to the Hyundai press release.
As a final sweetener, Hyundai said Tucson fuel cell vehicle buyers can expect to receive the same “At Your Service” valet maintenance program owners of the Hyundai Equus already experience. Should a Tucson Fuel Cell require any service, a Hyundai dealer will pick up the vehicle and provide a loaner, then return their car after service to their home or business, at no charge.
Want to experience the Tucson fuel cell vehicle first-hand, but not sure if you want to pony up the cash yet? Enterprise reportedly will begin renting the model in select locations in Spring 2014, as well.
Based on the number of fuel cell vehicle announcements being made of late, it will be interesting to watch how this technology spreads in the marketplace, especially as more automakers like Hyundai get in on the game by trying to build a mass-market hydrogen-powered vehicle.