The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell hasn’t exactly sold a bazillion copies, but that’s all according to plan. Hyundai – like Toyota and Honda with their hydrogen vehicles – it keeping deliveries under control because there just aren’t that many H2 refueling centers. Right now, all of these hydrogen vehicles are tooling around the LA area. At the Washington Auto Show this week, Hyundai announced that it would soon start deliveries in Northern California as well.
There was no date set for the San Francisco-Bay Area hydrogen cars to arrive, but Hyundai’s Mike O’Brien said that because, “We will sell them where there’s fuel.” Stations are supposed to begin opening in NorCal in the next few weeks. The next area that Hyundai suspects to launch the Tucson Fuel Cell is in the Northeast, which is the plan that other automakers have as well. The Tucson Fuel Cell leases for $499 a month, and includes free hydrogen fuel.
There are currently around a dozen stations open in California. O’Brien said that 53 stations have been given fund guarantees by the state of California, but 23 have not yet broken ground. The biggest hurdle, he said, is regulatory – getting all of the different government agencies to work together to approve construction.
Hyundai wants governments to get cracking on installing more hydrogen stations because it has plans to sell a second hydrogen vehicle at some point in the world by 2020. Up next on the green car front – we’ll see it in Chicago early next month, in fact – is the Ioniq, which will be available with a pure EV, a PHEV and a standard hybrid. Whether the Ioniq will get a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain at some point has not been announced or even hinted at, but we would not be surprised if it does.