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2 Consumers Criticize the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicle

Hyundai FCV Tucson at dealership in Tustin, CAIt’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.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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  1. Home based hydrogen generators exist and should be promoted by both fuel cell car dealers and by public tax incentives! Local production of hydrongen via electrolysis is not difficult! It would make most sense however if the electricity needed for the electrolysis were to come from solar, wind or other renewable sources.
    Time has come to move towards a diverse hydrogen energy society! We need to promote the use of hydrogen ion batteries ( hydrogen fuel cells) for transportation uses! Read Roy McAllister’s book “The Solar Hydrogen Civilization” for why and how information on this subject!

  2. Hydro Kevin

    Robert, thanks for your passion for hydrogen and your recommendation. I’ve just purchased “The Solar Hydrogen Civilization” through Amazon.

  3. An interesting method of producing hydrogen on the go is to use the liquid alloy of aluminum-gallium. When this alloy is added to water the aluminum oxidizes by removing the oxygen from a water molecule and releasing the hydrogen for use as a fuel. Now if an environmentally friendly method for reducing the aluminum oxide back to pure alluminum we coluld make an interesting method for refueling a hydrogen ion battery(hydrogen fuel cell) on the fly!!

  4. Hydro Kevin

    Yes, I agree with you. In fact, I’ve blogged about this a few times in the past –

  5. Hydro Kevin

    Note: I had tried to contact Hyundai a couple of months back about the hidden fees assertion, but I had not received a reply by the time of publication.

    So, today, I spoke on the phone with Jim Trainor, Sr. Group Mgr., Product Public Relations for Hyundai, and he would like to correct some of the blog post above. Mr. Trainor said that Gabe Shenhar is an automotive test driver for Consumer Reports and test drove the Hyundai Tucson FCV, so the lease was short term and just for test purposes. In regard to Michael Goldstein’s claim that there were hidden fees, Mr. Trainor told me those were nothing more than taxes, title and license fees that every dealer needs to charge.

  6. Hydro Kevin

    Another Note: I heard from Michael Goldstein who said that he thought he was buying into a package deal which included car, free fuel and all taxes and fees and when this turned out not to be the case he was very disappointed.

  7. This is why the auto industry is so sheisty and gets a bad name. It’s from stuff like this. Want to kill hydrogen or any new tech? Hide crap in the contract. Dumb.

  8. Hydro Kevin Kantola

    And this could be the reason why doing Craigslist car deals at shopping mall parking lots has become so popular.

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