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Hyundai to Sell 500 Fuel Cell Cars in 2012

Previously, Hyundai has stated that they will beat the $50,000 price tag that Toyota has stated they will start selling their fuel cell vehicles for in 2015. Once again Hyundai has upped the ante with more specifics.

According to a published report Hyundai now says they will start producing 500 FCVs as early as 2012. The Independent states, “…the Korean automaker plans to produce 10,000 units of the vehicle annually by 2015, starting slow in 2012 with between 500 and 1,000 units.”

Two of the key elements that potential drivers of hydrogen cars want to know are the price tags for the vehicles and when are they going to start rolling out. Hyundai has now hinted at the price and stated directly that they will jump the gun on the 2015 date that the other major automakers have set for rolling out FCVs.

Hyundai may rollout these first 500 cars as leases as they have previously stated. But, from there the gloves are off and other automakers need to take note. Even though battery electric cars are in vogue now, once the hype wears off and reality sets in many people will take a second good look at hydrogen vehicles as a viable alternative for zero emission cars.

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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6 comments

  1. Please…Let’s not help create more confusion about battery versus fuel cell because they are the same.Hydrogen is an energy carrier (not a fuel)and is used to store energy much the same as battery.All fcv’s will have 2 batteries.1 being of lithium or lead acid type for peak demands of short duration loads and the other being fuel cell type for longer duration but but less load and requiring less charge times.An fcv has 2 batteries instead of 1 but both are driven by an electric motor(which only has 1 moving part).Anyone see the beauty?Probably not if you’re a mechanic.Maytag will probably building cars.

  2. Medium Hairstyles

    Thank you very much for that dazzling article

  3. Great series of Articles Kevin
    Seems the Auto makers expect a “First to Market Advantage” such as the Prius had for the Hybrids.

    I think the Auto-makers need to be careful not to exhaust their Capital and Enthusiasm on Limited-Lease-Programs. No Market test is complete until you actually SELL them to the PUBLIC.

    John B. I agree. From this point forward let’s call them “Hydrogen Electric Cars” HEC’s. We’ll just drop the words ‘Fuel’ & ‘Cell’ as they only add confusion to the discussion. [I suppose a few companies are going to have to change their names. 😮 ]

  4. Michael C. Robinson

    Hydrogen is a fuel, not just an energy carrier, if the amount of energy used
    to acquire the hydrogen is minimized sufficiently. It takes energy to produce gasoline, so one could argue that gasoline is merely an energy carrier and
    not really a fuel.

    Fuel cells are not batteries. Fuel cells produce electricity as long as the necessary fuel is provided for their consumption. Of course fuel cells
    wear out, especially if they are CO poisoned, but let’s assume that they
    don’t. A battery is something that holds electrical charge or produces a
    current without the application of a fuel.

    With special ceramic structures being developed to simplify splitting water
    via direct sunlight and research ongoing into how plants split water, a process that is highly efficient for producing hydrogen commercially is likely to be found. Hydrogen without electricity is a matter of when, not a matter of if.

    The beauty of hydrogen fuel cells isn’t that hydrogen is easy to handle. The beauty is that no harmful pollution is produced by H2 fuel cells. If laser metal
    hydrides take off, the handling problem largely goes away.

    I’m glad that Hyundai is upping the ante. Someone needed to do it and it wasn’t going to be: Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, or Honda.

    Even if all of the hydrogen for a million FCEVs came from natural gas, that would be a massive improvement over producing gasoline or diesel for those vehicles environmentally. Ironically for high sulfur crude, it takes hydrogen to remove the sulfur. There is already demand for hydrogen even in an OIL based transportation system. Go after hydrogen directly and forget the OIL, that alone is a major improvement.

    The $50k mark has been a problem because most people probably won’t pay
    more than $25k-$40k for a hybrid. The Volt gas/electric hybrid is supposed to cost around $40k. If the cost of fuel cell vehicles becomes competitive with or under cuts the cost of hybrids, the hydrogen economy will materialize sooner than later.

    Make no mistake, battery based vehicles to this day cannot be recharged in a matter of minutes. Fuel cell vehicles that can go hundreds of miles per fill have been refilled in 3 minutes or less. If you try to recharge batteries fast by increasing the voltage, you risk wearing them out sooner and a lot of the energy will be lost in the form of heat.

    There are only 3 major areas of trouble plaguing the introduction of fuel cell cars. The first problem is Steven Chu and the category is of course politics (major problem). The second area of trouble is cost of hydrogen containment systems and cost of fuel cells (minor issues). The third area of trouble is hydrogen production and distribution (minor issues). Only one of the 3 areas involves major trouble at this point, but further R&D is needed. Remember, the auto makers have set 2015 as a sort of deadline. The auto makers would not set a deadline if none of them were anywhere close to commercially offering fuel cell vehicles at a price that the market will bear.

    1) Future fuel cells will use less or no platinum and last longer than 50k miles.

    2) Chu will eventually be replaced along with Obama, just a question of when.

    3) Plasma Kinetic’s technology could revolutionize hydrogen handling.

    4) Technology to produce hydrogen on site using waste energy, etcetera, is
    maturing.

    5) Centralized production of hydrogen is possible and there is the possibility
    of pipelines where some already exist.

    6) Even if all the hydrogen produced to service a million FCEVs comes from
    natural gas, this is an improvement environmentally over producing
    gasoline and diesel for vehicles based on the internal combustion engine.
    Please consider how much natural gas there is that is getting burned off to
    get at OIL.

    7) Infrastructure costs go down significantly if Hydrnol or laser metal hydrides
    are adopted.

    8) There is excessive green power production in many areas now and modern
    nuclear technology is very safe. How about Thorium reactors?

    9) There are 270+ million registered motor vehicles in the U.S. alone. Lithium
    is a rare metal that is needed to produce the current battery electric vehicles.

    10) Many parts of the U.S. have problems with Radon gas, a problem that
    goes away if you properly deal with radioactive materials in nuclear
    reactors.

  5. here here Mr. Robinson – I like your ideas.
    – you have provided a nice road map for a National and developing nations energy policy.

    I’d like to add my two cents (I just finished watching who killed the electric vehicle, and thought I’d check up on their – Fuel Cell not till 2030 claim – what a joke)

    After 10+ years in the solid waste industry and having witnessed the nations love of “recycling” at massive environmental cost – most of the residential recycling effort still ends up in disposal sites, just after exhausting a huge amount of fossil fuel and human effort. All of that effort should have been put into plasma arc disposal of solid waste, instead of a marketing gimmick and creating a hitler your parade of save that plastic bottle.

    Your mention of Plasma Kinetic’s, it’s not just for waste gas from Oil exploration – processing of waste with plasma arc technologies has been in the works for 10+ years, with serious pilot plants in operation around the world. The by-products can be directed to fuel cell along with every other fuel type we use, and every place in the world generates the raw materials by the way – trash. Do it right, and you get all of the metals back out of the waste stream on the back side of the plant – which should be the only thing we recycle at the end of a products life. Paralleled with a little investment into nuclear power generation to run the process and you’ve eliminated dependence on oil.

    With the current PHEV plug in batteries – we are simply replacing our alleged alliance on foreign oil with a guaranteed total reliance on Chinese and South American LIPO/LIFE battery raw materials and manufacturing.

    Thanks for letting me rant.

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