Hyundai has been working on a new sort of zero emissions vehicle that doesn't rely on gasoline for power. It also doesn't rely on electricity from an outlet to get around either. The car is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and it has landed in California this week. The fuel cell powered Tucson marks commercial availability of mass-produces fuel cell vehicles in the US.
Other automakers have put fuel cell vehicles on the roads in the past, including Honda and others, but in limited numbers. The big challenge is the small number of hydrogen refueling stations that are available. That low number of refueling stations will continue to hamper the growth of the hydrogen fuel cell market for years to come.
The first US customer for the Hyundai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle was Timothy Bush. He leased the car for $499 monthly with a $2999 down payment. The big draw for this vehicle is that the three-year lease includes unlimited hydrogen refueling and free maintenance at any of three participating dealerships in Southern California. The vehicle has a driving range of 265 miles with each fill up. Refueling takes about ten minutes to complete. There are only nine hydrogen-refueling stations in Southern California and to qualify to lease the vehicle, drivers must live within range of the stations.