Korean automaker Hyundai is heavily investing in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, expecting the eco-friendly technology to be a major business.
Since beginning production in 2013, Hyundai sold just 250 Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles, with most units sold in California and Europe. The company originally wanted to sell 1,000 vehicles worldwide - and despite the sales hiccup - Hyundai thinks hydrogen fuel cells will be a better opportunity than electric vehicles. There is increased vehicle design flexibility and less competition in hydrogen, as the electric vehicle market receives a tremendous amount of attention.
Hydrogen fuel cells can be refueled just as quickly as a traditional gasoline car, and have a larger travel duration than most electric vehicles. The fuel cell used in the US Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell car can get a bit more than 260 miles on a single charge.
Honda delayed the launch of its FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle, while Toyota launched the Mirai fuel cell car in late 2014. There are plenty of challenges ahead for automakers looking for alternative powered car designs, but plenty of upside if they want to embrace the effort.