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Report: Hyundai to cut price of fuel cell vehicle in Korea to compete with Toyota

The Korea Herald reports that unnamed sources say that Hyundai Motor has decided to lower the price of the Tucson fuel cell sport utility vehicle (earlier post) to compete with Toyota Motor’s Mirai fuel cell car (earlier post).

“Hyundai Motor recently informed Gwangju City, a major local buyer of the Tucson FCV, of its internal decision to cut the car price,” an industry insider close to the matter said on condition of anonymity last week. … “Hyundai Motor made the move, pressed by Toyota’s fast move to create a market for its first fuel cell car Mirai, armed with bargain-price,” the insider said.

Gwangju City, which purchased five Hyundai FCVs last year, has a plan to buy 10 more Tucson FCVs this year for use during the Gwangju Summer Universiade in July, the newspaper reported.

Hyundai’s Tucson FCV is priced at the equivalent of $139,000 (excluding subsidies) in Korea; Toyota’s Mirai FCV is priced at the equivalent of $62,000 (excluding subsidies) in Japan.

The Korea Herald said that Hyundai has so far sold only 200 units of the Tucson FC—and of those, only 10 in Korea—mainly because of the expensive car price. In Korea, according to the report, the government subsides $55,700 per Tucson FCV unit, meaning that individual Korean consumers still have to pay $83,500 to buy Hyundai’s hydrogen-powered car. Toyota, on the other hand, has already reported orders approaching 1,500 units for the Mirai. (Earlier post.)

Another thing holding back sales in Korea of the Tucson FCV is the lack of hydrogen fueling stations, which is key for creating a market environment for the car. Korea has only around 10 stations nationwide. The Ministry of Environment, which is in charge of building the fueling infrastructure, plans to increase the number of stations to 200 by 2025. Japan is moving faster than Korea in this sector as well. According to the Japanese government’s long-term road map for a “hydrogen society,” about 100 hydrogen fueling stations will be installed this year in major Japanese cities.

“It is time for Hyundai Motor and the government to sit down together to discuss a strategic approach toward rising completion for fuel cell cars,” Kim [Phil-soo, automotive engineering professor at Daelim University] said.



The world is full of foolish proponents cheering for "Fool Cells".



It is also full of people who love advertising slogans, and repeat them when any tiny particle of wit they originally had has long departed.

But of course you know so much more than the engineers at almost every major car company in the world.


Davemart, that's a bogus argument. "almost every major car company in the world" is not producing hydrogen fuel cell cars for mass marketing. The opposit is true. Almost every automaker - with the exception of Hyundai and Toyota - is not producing hydrogen cars for sale to the general public.

The CEOs of several automakers - Martin Winterkorn, CEO of VW, Norbert Reithofer, CEO of BMW, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and Renault, have all recently publicly questioned hydrogen's viability as a transportation fuel in the near term.

Even Toyota and Hyundai are not producing the cars at mass-market numbers, unless you consider 3,000 cars over the next 3 years in the US to be mass market (Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has specifically said that this is not a "relevant" mass market number)

If reading this story and recognizing the stunningly high subsidy given to get even a few thousand H2 cars on the road does not tell you about the true viability of this technology, you're much more optimistic than most!

Rather than resort to attacks on other posters, why not make a rational case with real numbers? Because the nastiness just makes you look bad, mate.



Just about every car company is pouring lots of R & D effort into fuel cell cars, so what else do you expect at this stage?

The continual disrespect for the highly qualified engineers at car companies like Toyota such as the Chairman of the Board Uchiyamada who headed the team which brought us the Prius and now is trying to bring us fuel cell cars, and the assumption that they are compete idiots who can't add up and that you know way better than all of them is simply daft.

If a bit of respect was offered, it would be returned.

I have no respect for those who fancy an advertising slogan is an argument.

If you want to talk about subsidies then far, far more money has been spent on battery electric cars, including on the company you have an entire blog apparently devoted to pumping, Tesla.

If you were any good at adding up, you would have a better appreciation of what is bogus, and what is not.
And the answer to what is bogus is not Toyota.

Neither the electric car industry nor Tesla would exist in any appreciable manner without subsidy.

However, I seem to remember that you did not even get what the difference is between the cost of running an electric car when it is exempted from tax and when it is not, and so were the one pushing the bogus arguments for savings from electric vehicles in high tax companies.

If you want some numbers, here is an analysis of the comparison between the energy used to power a BEV and an FCEV:

However, you would probably have realised what was what if you realised that the accountants at Toyota aren't too shabby at adding up.

BTW, VW have defined 'near term' as before 2020.
No one claims that fuel cell vehicles will be fully competitive before that anyway.


> you have an entire blog apparently devoted to pumping, Tesla

That is a very odd characterization, DaveMart, libel really. I don't advocate any investment of any kind in any of my writings, either in print or online.

My print magazine, distributed throughout North America at the largest booksellers and at independent newsstands, contains an EV buyers guide that lists every EV sold in the US and Canada. We devote a full page to every EV.

Our most recent covers have featured the Porsche 918 and before that the VW-eGolf. The last cover that featured the Tesla Model S was over a year ago.

How you paint that as a Tesla pumping blog is beyond me.


That's pretty funny DaveMart. I've long admired your sense of humor but now I have an entirely new appreciation of your talent. Your citation is your own calculations posted on Seeking Alpha, where people actually do pump stocks?

Here are some links to authoritative analysis about the viability of H2 as a transportation fuel:

Ulf Bossel, an internationally recognized fuel cell expert:

Tony Seba, Stanford professor:

Joe Romm, MIT Physics PhD , Senior Fellow at Center for American Progress

Julian Cox is not a scientist but this critique is well-reasoned, comprehensive and has many authoritative citations:


@Davemart, "Just about every car company is pouring lots of R & D effort into fuel cell cars, so what else do you expect at this stage?"

"..this stage" has been going on since NASA of the 1960's determined the lack of fuel cell mass economics, yet automakers have pocketed taxpayer R&D $billions for over forty years without a single mass marketed fuel cell car.

It is already the 13th or 14th year of the "The Bush Hydrogen Initiative" joke and there is still no near affordable solution to vehicle H2 fuel cell costs or especially distribution.


With such low quantities and such high prices, I think that I will never see a hydrogen fuelcell car in my life here in montreal. The more it go, the more I think that it will be a big worldwide flop. All these subsidies given to incompetants. Numbers tell that it's going the same way as project better place, in the trash bin.

I said it here many time that the success lie in cheaper hydrogen gas selled at the pump but unfortunately the fuel appear to be very costly and also the car is way too costly. This is going backward instead of going forward.



Don't toss around words like "libel", if you continue to antagonize I will contact Mike about this.


By all means, SJC. Tell your daddy too.

Just about every car company is pouring lots of R & D effort into fuel cell cars

Just about every car company has been mandated to do so, and received R&D subsidies for the effort.  This has been on-going in one form or another for decades; see PNGV.

The lack of infrastructure shows how serious government is about implementation.  For people to use AFVs as anything other than local transportation or for show, fuel must be widely available where drivers will need it.  10 stations is a Potemkin village, not a country.

I've taken the time to read the various back-and-forth and I must side with ECI.  FCVs are essentially a way to lock the transportation system into fossil fuels (either SMR of natural gas or gasification of coal) for the indefinite future, as electrolytic hydrogen from clean sources will be multiples of the cost of dirty fuel.  DaveMart's post at SeekingAlpha didn't do anything to challenge that.


> 10 stations is a Potemkin village, not a country.

In nine words you've just given the most succinct description of the current state of the Hydrogen Society I have ever read.


Without a practical battery the EV's will never amount to anything except a niche car. Lithium Ion batteries are impractical. They just don't have the energy density as well as being too expensive for the average consumer.


Having driven perhaps 14,000 miles on the power of lithium-ion batteries in less than 2 years, I'll dispute your claim about energy density.


You're absolutely right Mannstein, EV batteries need to improve.

With current technology, 260,000 plug-ins have been sold in the US. EVs obtain among the highest rated satisfaction scores of any car.

Energy density continues to go up, and prices continue to come down. GM has shown a car they say will have a 200 mile range and sell for $30,000. Tesla is building a factory capable of supplying batteries for a similar range car for about $2,500 less after incentives.

It is a virtual certainty that EVs will be very competitive with ICEs on both utility and price by 2017. For a whole lot of people, they are today.


FWIW, I just racked up close to 40 Li-ion powered miles tonight.  I managed my legs carefully and wound up burning not a drop of gasoline.  This is in January at 45 degrees north.


Three all-electric cars in the family, no hybrids or gas cars. No problem. 7,000 miles/yr on one, 18,000 miles/yr on another and 25,000 miles/yr on the third. (Seattle to San Diego and back several times).

Those batteries, they gotta improve. And they will.

Roger Pham

LOL, someone is freezing while trying to milk 40 miles out of a 20-mi-range PHEV, in freezing temperature "in January at 45 degrees north" "burning not a drop of gasoline."
I would crank up the engine once in a while, driving in charge-sustaining mode, to get some heat for the cabin and to defog the window, knowing that I'll be getting high thermal efficiency when the waste heat can be utilized, especially if exhaust heat can be recuperated like in the Prius gen 3.


I didn't bother trying to get 40 miles out of a 20-mile battery.  I drove 19 miles, put it on a charger, did some local business, and then drove about 21 miles back.  I had heated seats and an electric defogger to keep everything nice.

Hydrogenfraud Squad


"Without a practical battery the EV's will never amount to anything except a niche car. Lithium Ion batteries are impractical. They just don't have the energy density as well as being too expensive for the average consumer."

Hydrogen shills should note the irony of their own ignorance.

Take the Lithium Ion battery out of the Toyota Mirai and all you have left is a fossil fuel vehicle costing $150,000 to build with no regenerative braking, a 0-60 time of approximately 20 seconds (if that is not being too generous), going from unacceptable to totally unsafe loss of overtaking power, and at least a 5:1 reduction in lifespan from about five years to one year or less.

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