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Hyundai Tucson Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicle Enters Production

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Hyundai Tucson Fuel-Cell vehicle enters production

Hyundai Tucson Fuel-Cell vehicle enters production

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Fuel cell vehicles have been garnering more attention recently, with the high-profile agreements between Toyota and BMW, and Renault-Nissan, Daimler and Ford.

Not yet ready for the mainstream, fuel cell vehicles have so far been restricted to limited-run production models like the Honda FCX Clarity.

Korean giant Hyundai now has its own fuel cell production vehicle, and the first hydrogen Tucson crossovers have started rolling from the production line.

The fuel cell Tucson, or ix35 as it's known in other markets, has been developed for fleet use, mainly in Europe where a budding hydrogen network will make the car reasonably practical.

Hyundai has been working on fuel cell vehicles for 14 years and has put hundreds of millions of dollars into the project, as well as over 2 million miles of testing--so the Tucson Fuel-Cell is the real deal. The company wants to build 1,000 examples by 2015, making it the first true mass-produced fuel cell vehicle--albeit one which will still sell in very small numbers.

The Tucson Fuel-Cell uses a hydrogen tank pressurised to 700 bar, storing 5.6 kilograms of hydrogen (12.3 pounds). With an efficiency rating of 0.95 kgH2 to 100 kilometers, the Tucson can go approximately 369 miles on a fill.

A 24 kW battery is also employed for energy storage. The electric motor powering the car is enough for 12.5-second 0-62 mph sprints, and a top speed of 100 mph.

It joins the carmaker's 'Blue Drive' sub-brand, which includes cars like the Sonata Hybrid, as well as the Hyundai i10-based BlueOn, a Chevy Spark-sized electric car sold only in Korea.

Some big automakers may have signed technology agreements to develop the future of fuel cell technology, but it's taken a Korean brand to make a true production fuel cell vehicle.

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Comments (37)
  1. And I drove it round the block in London. Dump the H2 tank and stupid fuel cell for which no refuelling equipment exists almost anywhere and up the battery and you'd have a great EV. It drove very nicely and I was in a Pre production test car.
     
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  2. Why spend trillions on hydrogen when when electricity is already in place? If you parked a hydrogen car in my driveway it wouldn't be long before I'd have to re-register it as a metal sculpture. Whereas with an electric car I'd have no problem charging it. I wish car makers would calm down and get into the EV market and give it some time to evolve. Going the hydrogen route is just wasting more time and money.
     
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  3. Everybody here that was over 10 years old in 1986 allow your mind to drift back to January 28. BOOM!!!
     
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  4. Factory recalls would really suck for fuel cell cars.
     
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  5. I assume you are referring to the (Space Shuttle) Challenger disaster?

    It exploded and tragic as it was, it isn't really a terribly relevant event in the context of hybrid motor vehicles. I agree though that H2 is a bad idea for transport (see my - rather long - post further down) due to safety but also more importantly, efficiency, ecology and cost.
     
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  6. ecology? Don't get that one. Hydrogen and oxygen make water and heat. Yes...currently, fuel cell cars have the same issues that liquid propelled rockets have. Hydrogen will combust without any spark, and it combusts violently (see Hindenburg). I won't be sitting on any bomb any time soon. Hydrogen is energy storage, NOT fuel. You cannot get more energy out of hydrogen than you put in to create it. Fuel cells are used when no viable alternatives are available. It is a waste of electricity (used to make H2).
     
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  7. Petition the White House to Build A Hydrogen Economy:

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/build-hydrogen-economy/CGJXwTcX
     
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  8. Part 1

    H2 has not replaced fossil fuels, despite the world being told is is going to do so 'soon' for the last 50 years, because it simply does not work.

    It could be - if billions more $ were spent - but why bother when there is a simple, reliable, cheap and home-grown solution here NOW using readily available infrastructure and technology? I.e - electric vehicles.

    1. 95% of H2 is from 'cracked' (steam reformed) at 70% efficiency from natural gas, a fossil fuel.
    2. H2 in an ICE gives 30% efficiency at best and a fuel cell is still only 40% efficient.
    3. Compressing H2 enough to give it 'adequate' range is enormously expensive. 700 BAR is 10,000 PSI! = very strong, big, heavy (and VERY expensive) tanks.
    (cont...)
     
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  9. 4. To store and transport H2 has all the same issues as 3. = massively expensive infrastructure. Electric infrastructure is almost all in place now.
    5. H2 is much more dangerous than petrol because it has a very wide explosive/ignition mix range with air ie when leaking. Because of the storage pressure and tiny molecule size it is nigh-on impossible to prevent leaks. If it ignites, its flame is invisible. Consequently, a leak is much more likely to lead to an explosion than other fuels.- hence the reason the only London based H2 refuelling point was shut during the Olympics causing all London-based trial H2 powered vehicles to either not be used - or worse, truck them to Swindon and back for refuelling!
    (cont...)
     
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  10. 6. Fuel cells for cars cost US$50-100k and won't fall much for ages if at all.

    Of course, the cynic in me just sees the H2 fuel cell lobby as just another way of keeping the status quo going between government and big business. They don't want us to be able to just plug our EVs into our PV arrays and fuel up for free - or even do it from the grid for a tenth of the cost (UK) or a fifth (US) of what petrol or diesel would cost. And how are they going to deal with the loss of all that fuel duty when we all go electric?

    So, John Bailo, whilst there are aspects of the H2 economy that make sense, replacing fossil fuel with H2 for transport purposes is currently not one of them and probably never will be.
     
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  11. 6. Fuel cell prices fall with material prices. FIY, some materials advancing fuel cells are used in advancing batteries and vice-versa. ;)

    For some oddball reason people tend to think that BEV's are going to set the world free of big business controlling them. As though big business can't control the materials that make their batteries or capacitors, or control the grid, or own the PV companies, or control the roads, supply the materials for any of the previous... Loss of fuel duty? Really?

    Peace
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  12. 4. Storage is either gas, liquid, or solid. Transport isn't necessary with H2 on-demand. All issues perceived are from a lack of knowledge on the subject matter.

    5. Incorrect. H2 fills the space it travels into rapidly, therefor dissipating in the atmosphere.

    The closing of the H2 filling station during the Olympics was determined by the person in charge of transit for the Olympics without determining whether or not his view on the matter held any merit.

    Peace
     
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  13. 1. Why is that the case? ;-)

    2. H2 in an internal combustion motor works from 100% concentration to 4% depending on your mix and motor configuration. Therefor, claiming an efficiency of 30% at best demonstrates not quite a full comprehension of the subject matter. In any event, the motor does something the electric motor can't - clean the air.

    3. "Enormously Expensive" is a vague term. Add to that the unmentioned use of carbon fiber tanks, while more expensive than some other materials (steel), is around 700 USD.

    Peace
     
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  14. How the dickens did Hyundai manage to get 24kWh of battery AND a 400 mile range FC in such a (relatively) small car? Incidentally https://www.hyundaiusa.com/about-hyundai/news/Corporate_Tucson_ix_FCEV_Release-20110214.aspx gives the battery capacity as 21kWh (actually it gives it as '21kW' clearly a typo).
     
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  15. 1. Range anxiety should be greatly reassured by the ability to stop and quickly refuel, whenever low.

    2. Is 700 BAR (~”10,000“ psi) really too much? If a tank of steel for that would be too heavy, why shouldn't that be built of carbon fiber? It’s stronger than steel (Yes, that’s more expensive now, but would it be, once translated into greater quantity and perhaps with more efficient manufacturing technology?). If worried about H2 leaking and igniting, why not design it with the fuel tank built into the roof, where any burning H2 that leaked would simply rise, eliminating its danger to the cabin’s occupants.

    3. Fuel cells could already supply electrons directly to the motor. Then, why include a battery as well?
     
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  16. 4. Is H2 fuel really more dangerous than lithium batteries? Europe has included pure H2 in home heating/cooking fuel for over fifty years. It’s not untested technology. They have good control over it. Why not let them teach us how?

    5. Supplanting, lithium battery technology—with its ability to spontaneously self-ignite—is competitive progress under the free market. Although, I suppose it may be said, that resisting the fuel cell’s greater convenience by clinging to risky battery power is “competition” too; is it progress? I would say, hardly.
     
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  17. I would buy the H2-fuel-cell-equipped car, where I could order its fuel from my local heating gas dealer, even here in the northern U.S. That, unsurprisingly, would eventually be likely to have a location nearer to automotive traffic, as the market for low-cost, quick to energize, fuel-cell electric cars builds momentum, even here in North America.
     
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  18. I think H2 fuel cell electric energy is the capstone on development of practical, benign transportation.
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  19. Hi David, I would be interested to read about the domestic use of H2 in Europe - it is new to me. My main issues with H2 are that it does not address the ecological damage being done by fossil fuels as it is currently derived almost entirely from one. Safety aside, the other apparently insurmountable problem is the cost of the refueling infrastructure. Currently, petrol/diesel tanks are just a steel tank buried in the ground. There must be hundreds of thousands that would need to be replaced with tanks that would be an order of magnitude more expensive. The cost of this alone would be astronomical. I'm sorry but it simply isn't going to happen. The pure EV option ticks all the boxes, NOW! Why not use it?
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  20. David, Can you currently buy H2 from your 'local heating gas dealer'? I suspect not. Even if you could, where are you going to store it? I don't think you have read my points very carefully. You can go out and buy LiFePO4 batteries today at a cost that makes medium to long term financial sense. Where can you buy a domestic hydrogen storage tank (you can't)?... and even if you could, what would it cost to install? $50k or more? Would you even get the authorities permission to install one? H2 is a pipe dream for anything but commercial use in fleets and buses. If you think I'm wrong, please quote me some facts and figures and send post some links. Natural gas might be another matter... MW
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  21. There are more comments in this thread
  22. As GM did discover, it would be quite expensive, possibly prohibitively so, for a single car manufacturer to initiate alone, but with the help of the existing energy suppliers, groupings of car manufacturers, such as Ford, Daimler and others are already doing, or even, supposedly inherently inefficient, governments (such as the EU’s, maybe, already minting Europe's currency), which can command more resources than single private entities can. Over here too, the cost objection was probably raised back when gasoline stations were considered along (then-) rural highways.
     
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  23. Hi Martin: In Germany, since the early postwar years there has been electrolysis of H2 from water, using grid power, for adding to the "natural" fossil gas heating gas network. H2's concentration in it has been increasing ever since. They have been developing, and are now already adding, H2 infrastructure for cars, "a budding hydrogen network will make the (hydrogen fuel cell EV [H2 FCEV]) reasonably practical" (Anthony Ingram, "Hyundai Tucson Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicle Enters Production", Green Car Reports, 2/28/13). Why don’t we let them show us how they’re doing it?
     
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  24. As H2-powered transportation increases, new storage tanks, perhaps just a carbon-fiber tank buried in the ground, or the equivalent of the above ground steel heating gas storage tanks found outside many homes and businesses today, but with pumps added can deliver the gas to automobiles’ tanks. (Remember, today’s liquid fuel stations have pumps too, that must have presented some investment cost). Can’t heating gas storage tanks (and pipelines) do it? Germany’s apparently do.
     
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  25. Yes, as GM did discover, it would be quite expensive, possibly prohibitively so, for a single car manufacturer to initiate alone, but with the help of the existing energy suppliers, groupings of car manufacturers, such as Ford, Daimler and others are already doing, or even, supposedly inherently inefficient, governments (such as the EU’s, maybe, already minting Europe's currency), which can command more resources than single private entities can. Over here too, the cost objection was probably raised back when gasoline stations were considered along (then-) rural highways.
     
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  26. The "cost" of that investment must have been enormous too, but look at the eventual return. Life cannot come without any risk. "Astronomical" cost? Some change happens, and must. Henry Ford's new idea too, to mass produce for an unestablished mass market, was considered too risky for his contemporaries also; that was too bad for the nay-sayers. Yes, they burned gasoline, which also was hard to find then. How can failure (or success) be reliably forecast?


    Is the H2 FCEV an im"-pure" option, BTW? Why not eventually a "pure" H2 FCEV, ditching the battery?
     
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  27. Or maybe a quick charger was found, but somebody unplugged you early (See John Volcker, "Should Electric Cars Have Visible Charge Indicators For The Public", Green Car Reports, 3/1/13.), but there’s no money for a motel. Grandma to the rescue? Poor grandma announcing that "We really missed you! You would have loved it; Uncle Bob and Aunt sue, with Cousin's Jimmy, Merle, and George were there; your sister Anne too, with her new ‘intended’.

    “Oh, there's Thanksgiving Dinner, for all of you, in the 'fridge. Would you like it warmed up? I can get the oven going. It’s no trouble at all.


    (finally conversational landmines are included): “Err, how’s your new electric car been?"
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  28. Maybe easier re-energizing on long trips would increase the popularity of electric cars, among families with only one vehicle. Perhaps the prospect of a Thanksgiving trip to Grandmother's house 280 miles away would lose some luster when, due to a lapse in the previous night's recharging procedure amid other hectic preparations, or possibly a slightly unintentional burst of speed on the Interstate, leaves the battery down after only 250 miles, with only a 120 Volt charger available.
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  29. Using the, more convenient, H2 FCEV might not rule out the rechargeable BEV instead, why can’t they be used together to see which becomes preferred by consumers? Why dictate to the public that ".... it simply isn't going to happen?".
    For this country, I’m talking about the future though. More infrastructure than we realize is ready, now, for H2 though. Shipping H2 (yes, along with “natural” gas) in a pre-existing pipeline system works for Germany, using the same laws of physics we do; we store our heating gas in above-ground tanks. If burning, leaking H2 shoots straight upward, sparing objects and people on the ground (existing American heating gas doesn’t).
     
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  30. For this country, I’m talking about the future though. More infrastructure than we realize is ready now for H2. Shipping H2 (yes, along with “natural” gas) in a pre-existing pipeline system works for Germany, using the same laws of physics we do; we store our heating gas in above-ground tanks. If burning, leaking H2 shoots straight upward, sparing objects and people on the ground (existing American heating gas doesn’t).

    Progress needn’t end yet. What is "progress"? Isn't that for the public to decide? BEVs have become an excellent bridge technology toward H2 FCEVs. BEVs aren’t selling as well as mfrs. had hoped; maybe H2 FCEVs will sell better than that. Why close the process?
     
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  31. History doesn’t develop in instant scene changes, like a movie. Real changes occur gradually.

    Heating fuel dealers wouldn’t have to change their tanks overnight. Cars arriving for fuel could probably be filled by the hoses that fill their trucks. Car-fuel’s dealers would presumably add a tank somewhere on their property. New designs for vehicular drive trains don’t take over immediately either. Cars are expensive; though they’d like to, most families don’t immediately change cars as soon as they come out. They just don’t have the money.

    Would people have domestic storage tanks for their automotive fuel? Maybe some, whose furnaces use it. They would pump it directly into their car’s tank from the big one.
     
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  32. Early adopters, are different. They’re more adventurous. They’d change their furnace. On a long trip, if they drive instead of fly—-just to try it—-it’s they who’d stop at the closest dealer, who probably specializes in methane, at first, once identified. Also they've more $.

    Cars aren’t bought @ $89k to 105k, by a family of 4, struggling on $30,000/yr. A heating gas tank might be outside their home, though. That can probably be rigged to include cars. These would apparently be able to block H2-sized molecules since they can apparently block the methane/H2 mix, found in Germany. The average car buyer would probably have to wait for the car’s price to come down and look for an old used one, if lucky and close enough to find one.
     
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  33. Though I suppose that could depend on one’s definition of “far” (2 weeks, 2 months, or even maybe 20 years?). To their credit though, Europe (or, should I say “Eurasia”) does usually tend to have courage for longer range planning than we in the U.S. do. They’ve used it well.

    After all, Hyundai has already spent “14 years” (and incidentally, “hundreds of millions of dollars”) planning and developing this project. An awful lot of time and money has already gone into this. They must feel it has a lot of potential to have gone even this far with it. It sounds very hopeful. Expansion of the H2 from water (pure or not) roadside marketing infrastructure is not likely to be a very great effort, compared with what has transpired.
     
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  34. Martin: I have read your “points”, but do not necessarily believe them all. I do accept your acknowledgement that “Natural gas might be another matter”, because mixing H2 with “natural” gas, has given the Germans a safe and successful pipeline system for around fifty years. It apparently constitutes a nucleus for expanding into the transportation field. Once used for that, even if they start with fleets (for rental?) and maybe buses, entry into individually purchasable marketing need not necessarily be far behind.
     
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  35. hydrogen cars are the best thing for earth. build the infrastructure and the car will be in every garage and driveway in the world. [do it now]copenhagen denmark builds hydrogen fueling stations in thier factory,then delivers to the site installs. and is fuelimg cars in [48hrs] we can do the same thing.
     
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