In a bid to one-up their competition, Hyundai has announced that they will sell hydrogen fuel cell cars starting in 2012 – three years before Toyota, Honda and the rest of the competition. Seeing that renewable energy is becoming decidedly cheaper and that hydrogen fuel cell cars are more commercially viable than they were a year ago, Hyundai has said that will deliver the world’s first series production fuel cell vehicle in 2012, with 500 hydrogen vehicles rolling off the line that year and more afterwards.
Hyundai plans to increase production of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles up to 10,000 units by 2015, the year when most other automakers will be just getting started on their FCVs. The first 500 vehicles produced are likely to be leased out to fleets and other similar buyers until production increases to at least 1,000 units by 2013.
With hydrogen refueling stations becoming more commonplace and the cost of hydrogen fuel cells dropping, customer demand is very likely to increase, especially seeing as Hyundai plans to beat Toyota’s price tag of $50,000. How they are attempting to beat Toyota’s price tag is unknown, as is the type of technology Hyundai is expected to use in their units. However earlier in the year in Geneva, Hyundai said that it had made several important innovations over its previous fuel cell concepts, the Tucson fuel cell EV.
What will be interesting to see over the next few months is not how Hyundai’s competition reacts, but how the electric car industry attempts to work with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Both technologies are rapidly becoming more and more financially and practically feasible. However while Hyundai has shown its commitment to hydrogen vehicles with models such as the ix35 Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle, other carmakers have favored electric vehicles.
Last month, Honda said that “in the long-term, fuel-cell electric vehicles will provide the ultimate mobility,” promising that it would continue work on the FCX Clarity, its fuel-cell vehicle which is available to certain clients.
Via Green Optimist