While fuel cell vehicles aren’t currently a high-demand, mass-produced vehicle in the U.S., there are a number of fuel cell cars available for purchase, including the 2015 Hyundai Tucson. Currently, there are only a handful of hydrogen fuel stations, almost exclusively located in the Los Angeles area. But, according to USA Today, a rise in demand is all it would take to get more fuel stations and make hydrogen fuel cars a hot (and smart) commodity.
What is a hydrogen fuel car?
A hydrogen fuel vehicle is an electric vehicle. The electricity to run the motor is created by mixing hydrogen from the fuel tank with oxygen from the air in the fuel-cell “stack.” The exhaust is water vapor, meaning no pollutants are created in the process.
How is the Tucson hydrogen fuel vehicle different?
The Hyundai Tucson fuel cell looks, drives, and feel almost identical to a regular gasoline-powered Tucson, and some say the fuel cell is even smoother and quieter than the original. Visual differences include a couple of badges and the car’s rear cargo floor, which sits about an inch higher in order to accommodate the hydrogen fuel tank below.
The Tucson fuel cell has an EPA combined rating of 50 miles per gallon-equivalent and a rated range of 265 miles after a 10-minute fill-up. That’s a far cry from plug-in battery electric cars, which typically range from 50 to 100 miles and require a multi-hour charge.
What are the benefits?
Besides the extended driving range, quick fuel-up, and a nearly identical look and performance, buyers also receive unlimited free hydrogen fuel and Hyundai’s “at your service” valet maintenance, in which the dealership picks up your Tucson, leaves a loaner, then returns your vehicle after the service or repairs are complete.
Here at Southtowne Hyundai, we think this could be the electric car technology of the future. Tell us in the comments: if hydrogen fuel was more accessible, would you buy one?