Hyundai and US DOE extend fuel cell vehicle loan partnership in concert with new DC-based hydrogen fueling station
Hyundai and the US Department of Energy (DOE) are extending their fuel cell vehicle confirmation program, originally from 2013 through 2015, to a second phase, from 2016 through 2017.
The program involves Hyundai providing a number of Tucson Fuel Cell CUVs (earlier post) for daily use and confirmation by the DOE using existing hydrogen infrastructure. This phase of the program will make significant use of a newly-opened hydrogen refueling station in the Washington DC region.
Phase one of the Hyundai/DOE program focused exclusively in the Southern California region, where the earliest hydrogen infrastructure existed. In February, Hyundai reported that Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell drivers had accumulated more than 1,000,000 miles on the roads and highways of Southern California. (Earlier post.) Hyundai has delivered nearly 100 Tucson Fuel Cell crossovers since its introduction as the first mass-produced fuel cell in the US market in June 2014.
Phase two further expands the program’s reach to Northern California, Washington D.C., Michigan and Denver. Phase two starts in July 2016 in conjunction with the opening of the newest DC-based hydrogen station. Tucson fuel cell vehicles will use this newest DOE-developed hydrogen station extensively.
The Tucson Fuel Cell is equipped with a Hyundai’s latest 100 kW fuel cell stack, coupled to a 100 kW, 221 lb-ft (300 N·m) electric induction motor, allowing it to reach a maximum speed 100 mph. A 0.95 kWh, 24 kW Li-ion battery pack (the same as in the Sonata hybrid) provides energy storage from regeneration.
The Hyundai/DOE partnership effectively continues preparation for the rollout of fuel cell vehicles nationwide in the near future. Some key advantages of hydrogen fuel cells over battery-powered electrified vehicles is their quick refueling capability, longer range, more flexible vehicle size scalability and maintenance of range performance in colder climates.