It’s true that the Hyundai ix35 Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle has won several awards such as Ward’s 10 Best Engines. But there are also a couple of consumer critics who need to be listened to as well. Ultimately it is the consumers who decide the fate of the hydrogen cars and not those giving the awards.
For instance Michael Goldstein, who is an automotive journalist, tried to lease a Hyundai ix35 FCV from the Tustin dealership in Southern California, just two months after the SUV’s were offered for lease. What he found out when looking at the paperwork was a hidden $70/month surcharge that made him walk away from the deal.
Gabe Shenhar, who leased a Hyundai FCV in Connecticut, has two main complaints including the vehicle feeling underpowered and the lack of hydrogen fueling stations.
According to Shenhar, “A more serious problem–and the biggest obstacle to the rapid adoption of hydrogen as a fuel–is the scarcity of hydrogen filling stations. We have access to only one, in Wallingford, CT which is 32 miles away from our track. That situation could change, but for now anyone with a hydrogen car will be on a short leash or will need to carefully plan their travel plans.”
Lessons to be learned?
First, c’mon Hyundai dealerships, you don’t need bad PR for hidden fees when rolling out brand, spankin’ new technology which will greatly influence future sales.
Second, Hyundai and consumers, leasing a vehicle that only has one filling station 32 miles away seems like a setup for frustration and failure. This negative consumer reaction needs to be anticipated and accounted for when rolling out future vehicles.