Hyundai remains on track to reach its goal of producing what it says will be the world's first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), which will be a version of the Tucson crossover, by 2015, Hyundai Motor North America CEO John Krafcik told reporters at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Krafcik also stressed that the car, called the ix35 in some markets, would be available to the general public and would be a "series" vehicle – that is, not limited to government entities or fleets. He added that a crossover was most appropriate for fuel cell technology because its weight is greater than typical vehicles and would be a particular challenge in terms of maximizing range on an electric vehicle.
"We hope we can ride the scale economy down," Krafcik said, referring to the process of reducing per vehicle costs as production levels rise. He declined to estimate how much such vehicles cost to produce and how much they will cost in 2015.
In September, the Korean automaker said at the Paris Auto Show that the ix35 would be the first serial-production FCEV when it's made available for private and public lease by the end of this year. Hyundai, which has estimated a 365-mile full-tank, zero-emissions (except for water vapor) range for the car, has estimated that it will make 1,000 units between now and 2015. The company hasn't given out any price estimates.