Hyundai launching new fuel cell electric vehicle in early 2018

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Tucson
Hyundai Motor Company is pushing forward with Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs). The South Korean car company’s Vice Chairman, Yang Woong-chul, said at a ministerial tour that Hyundai’s second-generation FCEV will launch in 2018, according to Reuters. He stated the primary reasons for the technology revamp are tougher emissions regulations and to compete with Japanese car companies Honda and Toyota, which have their own FCEV models.

An earlier report in The Electronic Times that said Hyundai was aiming to extend the 265-mile driving range of the current FCEV vehicle to 497 miles, almost double. That report also said the new model will be introduced in late 2017 but would go into mass production in 2018. It will again be an SUV, like the current Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell model. In addition to the popularity of SUVs, FCEV components take a lot of space and SUVs have more space available than the FCEV sedans made by Honda and Toyota.

The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, introduced in 2013, was the first FCEV to be mass-produced, but it is still being made in small quantities. The production is limited to 1,000 vehicles a year and it’s not clear if it has reached those goals. The two greatest reasons sales haven’t been greater are high cost and the limited availability of hydrogen refueling stations.

The Tucson Fuel Cell has never been for sale, only for lease, with no lease-purchase option at the end of the term. The lease requires a $3,000 payment upfront and $500 a month for 36 months. As part of the lease, fuel and maintenance are included, along with a permit to drive in High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on the highway.

The only places in the U.S. where FCEV Tucsons are available to lease are in specific parts of northern and southern California. There are currently only 5 hydrogen fueling stations in the northern part of the states (in Hayward, San Francisco, and near San Jose). There are 16 stations hydrogen stations in the Los Angeles area, as far south as Dana Point. With the current model the 265-mile driving range isn’t enough to make the 383-mile trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, so all driving with the current vehicles are limited to their own sections of California.

In order for prices to go down, permitting an increase in leases, the FCEVs will need to be produced in greater quantities. And while wider distribution is needed to support more customers, that in turn requires more refilling stations. So even though hydrogen fuel cells are the most eco-friendly fuel system on the road — water is the only emission — the chances of more FCEVs getting off the starting block depend on successful efforts on both fuel availability and lower prices.


Nikola previews $80K NZT off-road EV speedster with 590 horsepower

Nikola Motor is taking reservations for the NZT, a high-performance, all-electric off-highway vehicle (OHV). The $80,000 NZT has 590 horsepower, 775 foot-pounds of torque, and reaches 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds.

Electric car buying guide: What you need to know before you buy

EVs are better than they've ever been, but buying your first battery-powered car can be an intimidating experience. Digital Trends has compiled a comprehensive guide that walks you through the process of buying an EV.

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Turbo shows value and performance can go hand in hand

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata goes in a bold new design direction, with LED streaks on its hood and sleeker bodywork all around. It starkly contrasts with the current Sonata's conservative design.
Emerging Tech

Sweden is building a road that recharges electric buses that drive over it

The Swedish transport administration is exploring special roads which will charge vehicles’ batteries as they drive over them. It will test the idea with a short sample stretch of road.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.

More tech and more space make the Mercedes-Benz GLS the S-Class of the SUV world

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation GLS at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The company's biggest and most luxurious SUV gains more tech features in its quest to become the S-Class of the SUV world.

Would you buy the Tarok compact pickup truck? Volkswagen wants to know

The Volkswagen Tarok pickup truck concept will make its United States debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The truck first appeared at the 2018 Sao Paulo Auto Show, and VW wants to see what U.S. buyers think of it.

Sick of civilization? Volkswagen’s Atlas Basecamp concept lets you get away

Volkswagen revealed the Atlas Basecamp concept ahead of its debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. Built for overlanding, this family-hauler was upgraded jointly by Volkswagen and aftermarket manufacturers.

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo sheds weight, uses racing tricks to stay sharp

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo isn't dramatically different from the 2019 model, but Nissan made changes where it counts. The updated GT-R Nismo is lighter and offers better aerodynamic performance, according to Nissan.

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.

21 charged in Chicago carsharing heist; 100+ cars stolen, many still missing

More than 100 Mercedes-Benz vehicles belonging to carsharing service Car2Go were stolen in Chicago. Police are still working to recover all of the cars, which are equipped with GPS, and 21 people have been charged.

The VR goggles you wear to shoot alien ships is helping Magna design car parts

Canadian automotive supplier Magna has started using virtual reality in its research and development department. The technology helps engineers get a better view of what they're working on, whether it's an interior part or a powertrain.

From rugged wagons to hot sports cars, the 2019 NY Auto Show brought it all

From city cars to supercars, anything goes at the New York Auto Show. Automakers from all over the globe traveled to the 2019 show to unveil their newest concept cars and production models.

Toyota leads $1 billion investment in Uber’s self-driving tech division

In a move that has been a long time coming, Uber filed its S-1 documents, which sets the stage for the company to finally go public with an initial public offering. The company could be valued at more than $100 billion.