Last week, the first hydrogen-powered 2015 Hyundai Tucson FCV (fuel cell vehicle) arrived in California. The only reason for their presence in California is to satisfy the laws of CARB (California Air Resources Board). This state's laws aimed at improving air quality are the toughest in North America.
Hyundai says that they make no profit off selling these SUVs. However, according to CARB's scale of credits, each Hyundai Tucson FCV that is leased up until the 2017 model year will earn 26 credits, the equivalent of $130,000. Why a dollar equivalent? It is so that these credits can be sold to other companies. In January 2011, electric car manufacturer Tesla claimed that it has sold $13.8 million in credits to Honda since 2008.
At the moment, Hyundai is not interested in selling these credits. Rather, the company is accumulating them to offset their sales of less fuel efficient vehicles.
The Hyundai Tucson FCV is available for lease in selected areas of California only, at $499 per month for 36 months, with $2,999 down. It is not a cheap vehicle, but that price includes unlimited hydrogen refills and the same level of service from the dealer as if you had bought the Equus luxury sedan. Dealers selected to carry this vehicle are located near rare charging stations, and provide recurring maintenance services to ensure that customers are extremely satisfied with the location.
In California, nine charging stations are in operation, and another 42 are under construction. Throughout the rest of the United States, there are only three hydrogen stations in existence- two in New York and a third in Chicago.
From an environmental standpoint, California is considered exceptionally ambitious by manufacturers. CARB wants 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on the roads of the eight U.S. states that it governs: California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.
That ambitious goal is a long way from being reached.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca