For Hyundai, the fuel cell market is a global affair. Built in Korea and launching now in Europe, Hyundai's first production hydrogen vehicle is the ix35 Fuel Cell, a CUV that will be known as the Tucson Fuel Cell when it comes to the US. As hydrogen vehicles become more and more a real thing for Hyundai – and other automakers – we thought we'd ask how things look through the company's fuel cell prism. So we asked Miles Johnson, Hyundai's senior manager of midwest product public relations, to run us through the automaker's thoughts on building hydrogen cars for the US.
It's clear Hyundai firmly believes in hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), despite two big hurdles: refueling infrastructure and cost. The company's first FCEV is expensive, but Johnson said that Hyundai is working on getting the price down to an "affordable price" as it gets ready for mass production and consumer retail "beyond 2015." FCEVs are getting a bit assist in Korea, where the government offers an incentive that cuts the "upgrade cost" in half. Governments in Europe are also providing financial assistance for FCEVs and refueling stations.
Johnson admits "infrastructure development in the US has been slow, thereby limiting any potential [FCEV] demand." To figure out how many H2 Tucsons to potentially bring to the US, Hyundai is currently "investigating potential demand ... in the US market, particularly in California, where most of the H2 refueling infrastructure development has taken place."
You can read Johnson's full brief below.