In Survey, 77 Percent Of Canadian Buyers Support Hydrogen Vehicles


2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at Hyundai headquarters, Fountain Valley, CA

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at Hyundai headquarters, Fountain Valley, CA

The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell crossover has been available for lease in parts of California for more than a year, but that's not the only North American market where it can be found.

Hyundai's hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle has also been available to a finite number of Canadian drivers since January.

So far, the company says, Canadians are showing enthusiasm about fuel cells for zero-emission transportation.

DON'T MISS: Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell: Early Drivers Discuss Experiences Traveling On Hydrogen

A full 77 percent of Canadians believe fuel-cell cars are the "wave of the future," according to a survey (via HybridCars) conducted by the research firm Ipsos Reid on behalf of the carmaker.

The survey found that 75 percent of respondents would like to drive a vehicle not powered by gasoline, and 64 percent said they would prefer that car to be powered by hydrogen.

Fuel-cell cars are often compared to battery-electric cars, as both powertrain technologies offer zero-emission driving.

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at hydrogen fueling station, Fountain Valley, CA

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at hydrogen fueling station, Fountain Valley, CA

Perhaps not surprisingly, Hyundai claims its survey respondents were less enthusiastic about battery-electric cars than about fuel-cell vehicles.

Charging an electric car was considered too burdensome by 71 percent of respondents, while 67 percent responded that battery-electric cars are "too much of a hassle" to drive.

According to Hyundai's interpretation of the survey results, Canadian buyers view the reduced environmental impact of fuel-cell cars to be as important as the financial benefits of cutting out gasoline.

ALSO SEE: 10 Questions On Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Cars To Ask Toyota, Honda & Hyundai (Oct 2014)

The company noted that 74 percent of respondents saw some benefit in hydrogen cars not being reliant on "highly volatile" oil prices.

But an even higher proportion--82 percent--acknowledge that producing no tailpipe greenhouse-gas emissions was a benefit of fuel cells.

Of course, the overall carbon footprint of hydrogen production and distribution, as compared to electricity generation for battery-electric cars, is still a subject of intense debate.

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at Hyundai headquarters, Fountain Valley, CA

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at Hyundai headquarters, Fountain Valley, CA

To prove hydrogen's green credentials, Hyundai commissioned a second survey on environmental impact from a second research firm, Offsetters.

Accounting for emissions related to hydrogen production, it found that a Tucson Fuel Cell will produce 40 percent lower "well-to-wheels" emissions than a comparable gasoline vehicle.

MORE: Hyundai On Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicles: Critiquing Its Claims

However, there was apparently no direct comparison of wells-to-wheels emissions between fuel-cell and battery-electric cars.

The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell is currently available in Canada only in the Vancouver area, and only on a three-year lease.

Hyundai is expected to fall short of its original goal of delivering 1,000 units globally by the end of 2015, having delivered just 273 globally as of May.

[hat tip: Brian Henderson]

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