Hyundai customers in California are getting the first crack at owning a hydrogen-powered crossover from the South Korean company.
Deliveries of the next-generation green machines has started, the automaker said today. Tim Bush of Newport Beach, Calif. took delivery of the first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle from the brand in North America. Customers including Bush are being offered a $499 per month lease that includes unlimited hydrogen fuel for three years. Fleets of the fuel-cell Tucson are already in place in both Korea and Europe.
Toyota and Honda are both also planning to market hydrogen-powered vehicles to Californians 2015. The effort isn’t new for Honda, which offered its FCX Clarity hydrogen car there since 2008. The advantage fuel cell vehicles offer is that they offer re-fueling times that are roughly the same as a gasoline-powered car. Limited availability of fueling infrastructure currently curtails that advantage.
The California government is working to add the first 100 stations and is providing $46.6 million in grants for hydrogen fuel stations that will help manufacturers put the infrastructure in place. Currently there are 10 in the state and 16 more being developed. That number is expected to reach 50 by 2016 when the volume of hydrogen vehicles is also expected to have grown significantly.