Hyundai has announced that it will be the first automotive company to make hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles available to the Canadian public.
The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) will be available to Canadians on a 3-year lease beginning in early 2015 in the Vancouver area.
The vehicle stores hydrogen gas and draws an inflow of air to the fuel cell stack. There is no combustion of hydrogen and the stack has no moving parts. The electrochemical process of combining oxygen and hydrogen in the fuel cell stack creates electricity to power the vehicle's electric motor and charge an onboard battery. The only by-product of the process is pure water vapor, resulting in zero greenhouse-gas emissions.
The Tucson FCEV is based on Hyundai's traditional, gasoline-powered Tucson crossover vehicle. This approach brings manufacturing costs of the vehicle down significantly and allows the company to scale production to meet demand. The vehicle takes less than 5 minutes to refuel and has an estimated range of 265 miles; both are comparable to the company's existing gasoline-powered Tucson and eliminate the range anxiety or recharge-time compromises of battery electric vehicles.
The Tucson FCEV is currently available to customers in a number of countries around the world, including the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and South Korea.
Earlier this year, Hyundai was named the “Greenest Automaker” by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in the 2014 Automaker Rankings report, which analyzed new passenger cars and trucks from the 2013 model year. For the first time, the UCS analysis showed that all 8 top-selling automakers had reduced the global-warming emissions from their average vehicle sold when compared to the first report that looked at 1998 vehicles.
It has been a great year for hydrogen transportation. In April, California’s Energy Commission and the Air Resources Board announced that the state would be joining H2 USA, a public-private partnership led by the U.S. Department of Energy dedicated to accelerating the commercialization of clean transportation solutions, primarily fuel cell electric vehicles (FCVs) and a fueling infrastructure that will make these vehicles more accessible and affordable.