Today, on June 10, 2014, Tustin Hyundai of southern California handed the keys to its first mass produced fuel cell vehicle (to hit U. S. shores) to Tim Bush and family (pictured at top) of Huntington Beach. Mr. Bush is a State Farm insurance agent in Newport Beach, California. I had a chance to speak with Mr. Bush at the event.
The Bush family will be leasing the Hyundai ix35 Tucson CUV for $499 month for the next 3 years and this includes free fill-ups of compressed hydrogen gas. Mr. Bush expects most of his refueling to be conducted at the hydrogen station in Newport Beach.
Mr. Bush told me, “I’ve never driven a fuel cell vehicle before, so today will be the first time.” He also said of the event, “I did not expect this many people.”
When asked which of the 6 Tucson fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) he would be driving away from the event, he joked, “My keys work on all of them.” Mr. Bush stated that up to this point he had never owned an electric vehicle or other alternative fuel vehicle, just a standard gasoline vehicle.
I counted six iBlue Tucson FCVs parked at Tustin Hyundai for the event. Four of the vehicles had California license plates and the number 17000 on them. One vehicle had Michigan plates with the license plate number 044 m 662. And, when I was taking photos, one FCV did not yet have plates and was the one featured near the balloons, presumably the one that the Bush family was driving home.
Besides the news media, others at the event included, Dave Zuchowski, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, Catherine Dunwoody, executive director from the California Fuel Cell Partnership, John Patterson, the Tucson Hyundai dealer who handed the keys to Tim Bush, Richard Corey, executive officer from the California Air Resources Board and Janea Scott from the California Energy Commission.
You can find more of the pictures (in addition to this page) that I took today at the bottom of the Hyundai ix35 Tucson page.
Official Hyundai Press Release