Korean automaker will be first to market hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle to Canadian public

Hyundai Canada will make the Tucson hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) available on a three-year lease to residents of the B.C. Lower Mainland, the company stated in a release today. This will mark the first time a hydrogen vehicle is marketed to the general public in Canada.

“We firmly believe that Hyundai has already surpassed the tipping point in fuel cell technology development and that it’s ready to be driven by customers interested in pioneering a zero-emissions automotive future,” said Don Romano, President and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.

“The challenge facing this technology has always been characterized by a chicken-and-egg scenario, where car companies won’t bring fuel cell vehicles to market without an infrastructure and there is no need for a refueling industry without customers. It’s time to move beyond simply talking about the opportunity. Hyundai was the first to mass-produce fuel cell electric vehicles and will be the first to bring them to Canadian customers. We’re planting the seed for a new segment of the industry.”

While Romano does state Hyundai’s desire to push for more infrastructure, the limited roll out of the Tucson FCEV to the Vancouver area is based on hydrogen fueling infrastructure already existing in the region.

The Tucson FCEV is expected to have a range of 426 km and a refuel time of around 5 minutes, comparable to gasoline-powered counterparts.

The announcement comes after Whistler announced last year it would scrap their hydrogen-powered bus fleet after the $89M pilot program expired. Costs — fueling and maintenance — were cited as factors in the project’s demise.

During the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, General Motors provided a fleet of eight hydrogen-powered Equinoxes to ferry around VIPs, athletes, and corporate guests.

Available exclusively on a three-year lease, the Tucson FCEV will cost $599 per month and includes maintenance and unlimited hydrogen refueling. Hyundai is currently taking applications from prospective lessees through their dedicated website HyundaiHydrogen.ca.

Full gallery and animated infographic below.

Gallery: Hyundai Tucson FCEV

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Click infographic to watch animation.

Hyundai Tucson FCEV - Infographic

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