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Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell exceeds 94 mph in desert test

Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell (earlier post) established the land speed record for a production hydrogen-powered SUV at the Soggy Dry Lake Bed of the California desert, with a top speed of 94.6 mph (152.24 km/h). Hyundai has nearly 100 Tucson Fuel Cell SUVs on the roads in Southern California; the first was delivered to its owner in June 2014.


The fuel cell vehicle was able to traverse the off-road terrain of the lake bed’s surrounding desert environs, benefitting from the substantial ground clearance of a compact SUV.

The Tucson Fuel Cell has an EPA-estimated driving range of 265 miles (426.5 km), allowing it to meet the transportation needs of many families in the Southern California region.

Southern California currently has the greatest concentration of hydrogen refueling stations in the US, and its hydrogen infrastructure in California is rapidly growing, with nearly 50 forecasted to be in operation in 2016.



At near 100 mpge, FECVs users could break even by using current high price H2, four to 5 times the price of gas. Image the advantage with H2 price at 2X gas price.

With a slightly larger on-board battery, FCEVs could easily reach 120+ mpge and make FCEVs the most economical extended range clean electrified cold weather vehicles.

Mass production would have to lower FCEVs initial price by 30% to 40% or so. That's a strong possibility by 2020/2025? Installation of clean H2 production and distribution stations are not a major challenge but a rather relative low cost GHG clean up operation.


Cheerleeding for a lost cause. There will be millions of EVs on the road by the time Hyundai or any of the other automakers have fielded more than a few thousand FCVs.

There is no economic or environmental case to be made for H2 in an era of $30,000 200 mile BEVs and 50-80 mile PHEVs.

People don't want hydrogen, they want fun, safe, economical cars that don't kill the planet.

Hydrogen doesn't just need to compete with ICEs, it needs to compete with PHEVs. The reality is, environmentally responsible consumers who want an SUV can now pick between the Tucson FCEV or:

Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV
Porsche Cayenne PHEV
BMW X5 xDrive40e PHEV
Mercedes-Benz GLE550e PHEV
Audi Q7 e-tron PHEV
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Tesla Model X

All priced in the same range or lower than the Tucson FCV, but with fuel prices at about $1gge for daily around town driving and $2.50 for long trips vs $13.50-$16.50 per kg hydrogen for the Tucson.

The only surprise is that Hyundai has managed to sell as many as of 80 Tucson FCVs in the US, or that dealers, risking the loss of high value customers for life, have agreed to sell a vehicle for which there is so little refueling infrastructure and has cause such dissatisfaction among Tucson owners that they've taken to internet bulletin boards to vent.


A PHEV still produces pollution from internal combustion.
Reforming bio fuels for fuel cells does not.


@SJC, if those renewable liquid fuel zero emission cars were on the market ar competitive prices, and the fuel was widely available at competitive prices, you might have a case to make.

But as the saying goes, you can't win if you don't play.

EV and PHEV technology will win in the maketplace because cars and the infrastrucure are being built, they are not just daydreams.


Just because they are not being built does not mean they won't. EVs require battery pack replacement, that uses up energy savings dollars. People look at total cost of ownership.


I'd be very interested in a competitive zero emission liquid fuel car. But until they are actually available, a "potential" technology is not really relevant to the discussion.


The arrival of clean H2 stations (and affordable all weather FCEVs) is just a matter of time. Japan and Germany will lead but others will soon follow.

They will not replace e-c-i-c's BEVs but compete in many places, specially in cold weather areas and for users requiring extended range and larger (trucks + buses + locomotives etc) vehicles.


HD> just a matter of time

Unless BEVs and PHEVs cross the finish line first, and then FCVs will be as relevant as a Betamax cassette. If the performance of the topic of the OP is any indication, H2 is a long shot to say the least.

Both in sales and on-road performance, FCVs have a lot of catching up to do.


If I recall correctly, Betamax crossed the line first but was overtaken by another technology which in turn was overtaken by 3 to 6 new technologies since?

Wireless CLOUD and Streaming systems will soon replace 6+ older technologies including cable and Sat TV?

However, extended range BEVs may be around for many years/decades, specially if affordable higher performance (up to 200 kWh) quick charge batteries or ESS become available. No doubt that they will come by 2025 or so.

Storage units and sea water filters will have a bright future.

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