First hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Canada to be offered in Vancouver

VANCOUVER – Hyundai announced on Wednesday they will be the first car company in Canada to make hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) will be available to Canadians on a 3-year lease beginning in early 2015 in the Vancouver area.

“We firmly believe that Hyundai has already surpassed the tipping point in fuel cell technology development and that it’s ready to be driven by customers interested in pioneering a zero-emissions automotive future,” said Don Romano, president and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp, in a press release. “The challenge facing this technology has always been characterized by a chicken-and-egg scenario, where car companies won’t bring fuel cell vehicles to market without an infrastructure and there is no need for a refueling industry without customers. It’s time to move beyond simply talking about the opportunity. Hyundai was the first to mass-produce fuel cell electric vehicles and will be the first to bring them to Canadian customers. We’re planting the seed for a new segment of the industry.”

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The Tuscon FCEV stores hydrogen gas and draws an inflow of air to the fuel cell stack. The electrochemical process of combining the oxygen and hydrogen creates electricity to power the vehicle and charge an onboard battery. Hyundai said the only by-product of the process is pure water vapour.

The fuel cell will have to be charged by Hyundai, but it takes less than five minutes to refuel and has an estimated range of 426 kilometres. Hyundai said the Tuscon FCEV has also passed numerous cold weather, crash, fire and leak tests.

A group of people will have the opportunity to lease the vehicle at $599 a month over a three-year term. The lease includes maintenance and unlimited hydrogen refueling. Applications can be made through Hyundai’s website.

“We are proud to be leading the fuel cell movement and now is the time for auto companies, governments, and citizens to join us in this initiative and push for the creation of a hydrogen infrastructure in Canada to maintain this positive momentum,” added Romano.

The Hyundai Tucson FCEV is currently available to customers in many countries including the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and South Korea.