Automakers, under pressure from government regulators worldwide, are looking to lower their cumulative CO2 emissions, and each has its own favored technology. For Nissan, it's electrics. Toyota is all-in on hybrids, Volkswagen is a big believer in diesels, and General Motors believes its Voltec range-extended electric models are the wave of the future. But for Hyundai, the company's clean-fuel play is hydrogen. To kick off that initiative, the company held a ceremony at Tustin Hyundai, a Los Angeles-area dealer in the suburb in Orange County, where Hyundai North America CEO Dave Zuchowski was on hand to give the keys to Timothy Bush, the first retail customer to receive a 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell.
As was the case with many of the early EVs, the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell is offered on a lease-only basis of 36 months at $499 a month with a down payment of $2,999. Although those terms may seem steep for a compact crossover, that amount includes unlimited, free hydrogen refueling, and the same “Your Service” valet maintenance offered with the Equus luxury sedan, in which the dealer will pick up your car for service, provide you with a loaner vehicle, and deliver the vehicle back to the owner at a residence or workplace at no additional charge.
If you're interested in being a Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell early adopter, you can register your interest at hyundai.com. The company touts the convenience of refueling in less than 10 minutes and a driving range of up to 265 miles. There are currently 10 hydrogen fueling stations in operation in California, 16 under construction, and a total of 50 planned statewide by the end of 2016. The 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell is currently offered exclusively at three Southern California dealerships: Win Hyundai in Carson, Tustin Hyundai in Tustin, and Hardin Hyundai in Anaheim.