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Hyundai Celebrates First Delivery of the Tucson Fuel Cell

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell

Fuel cell vehicles boost this week with the arrival of the Hyundai’s all-new Tucson Fuel Cell crossover. The first to take delivery of this vehicle, which Hyundai calls the “world’s only mass-produced fuel cell vehicle”, is the Bush family of Southern California.

On Tuesday the vehicle was officially delivered with Dave Zuchowski, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America, on hand to officiate the event. Hyundai is touting the Tucson Fuel Cell because it is built on the same assembly like as other gasoline-powered Tucson models.

“Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles represent the next generation of zero-emission vehicle technology, and we’re thrilled to be a leader in offering the mass-produced Tucson Fuel Cell to our first retail customer,” said Dave Zuchowski, president and chief executive officer, Hyundai Motor America. “The range and refueling speed of our new Tucson Fuel Cell compares favorably with gasoline vehicles, making them a seamless transition for our customers from traditional gasoline vehicles.

In addition to touting the range of the new crossover, Hyundai is attempting to quell concerns about the infrastructure, or rather lack thereof, to keep a fuel cell vehicle fueled. The automaker also said that the fuel cell is a cost efficient alternative to gasoline.

“When we spoke with customers about fuel cell vehicles, many wondered about the cost of hydrogen,” added Zuchowski. “To ease those concerns as the hydrogen refueling network builds out, we decided that covering this cost for these early adopters was appropriate, and consistent with how we like to treat our customers.”

In lieu of the Tucson’s standard 2.4-liter, four-cylinder, gasoline combustion engine, the Fuel Cell model is powered by a 100-kW fuel cell stack and 100-kW electric motor driving the front wheels. That setup is good for 134 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. Power is stored in a 24-kW battery pack—the same unit found on the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. The Bush family and other new recipients can enjoy a combined 50 MPGe while producing zero emissions.

The vehicle will be available for lease in the Los Angeles/Orange County region with a $2,999 drive-off, and monthly payments of $499 per month for 36 months. Hyundai is sweetening the deal with the promise of unlimited free hydrogen refueling. Of course there is catch—lessees are contracted to not exceed 12,000 miles per year. For the Bush family, it’s all worth it.

“My family is certainly excited to be doing their part in driving a zero-emission vehicle that benefits the environment, and at the same time, reduces our nation’s dependence on imported fuels,” said Mr. Bush. “What’s great about the Tucson CUV is that its day-to-day utility is virtually identical to the gasoline version, so we don’t have to compromise our lifestyle in the process; I can easily fit all of our family’s things in the back. The attractive $499 lease rate with unlimited free hydrogen fuel made the decision to drive a fuel cell even easier.”

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