Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. has announced that it will make hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles available in Canada. 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.
“We firmly believe that Hyundai has already surpassed the tipping point in fuel cell technology development and that it’s ready to be driven by customers interested in pioneering a zero-emissions automotive future,” said Don Romano, president and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. “The challenge facing this technology has always been characterized by a chicken-and-egg scenario, where car companies won’t bring fuel cell vehicles to market without an infrastructure and there is no need for a refueling industry without customers. It’s time to move beyond simply talking about the opportunity. Hyundai was the first to mass-produce fuel cell electric vehicles and will be the first to bring them to Canadian customers. We’re planting the seed for a new segment of the industry.”
The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell 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, according to the automaker.
In 2013, Hyundai Motor began mass producing fuel cell vehicles. The Tucson Fuel Cell is based on its 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 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell takes less than five minutes to refuel and has an estimated range of 426 kilometers; 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 Fuel Cell has also undergone extensive crash, fire, and leak testing. Further, cold weather has proven to have minimal effects to the Tucson Fuel Cell driving range when compared to battery electric vehicles, according to the automaker.