THE PROS & CONS
- Drives like an EV so it’s quiet and smooth
- Room for five
- Fueling is limited to business hours M-F
- Not for people or families who want to road trip (not yet!)
In a way, it’s business as usual.
But there’s a catch.
The electricity being generated to power the motor and then drive the wheels in this particular 2015 Hyundai Tucson isn’t done in a conventional way.
Sure there are all-electric EVs that are charged through level I or II chargers, or even via a quick charger, but not in this case.
Instead of gasoline engine/generator under the hood, there’s a fuel cell stack, which is fed by compressed hydrogen gas from the tanks in the rear. The electrochemical process of combining oxygen and hydrogen in the fuel cell stack creates electricity to power the vehicle’s electric motor and charge an onboard battery.
Water vapour is the only byproduct.
It kind of sounds like voodoo when you really think about it.
Though it’s neither.
Fuel Cell vehicles have been around for years, but Hyundai Tucson is the first automaker to offer this type of transportation to the public in Canada.
The pilot project is currently operating only in Vancouver, BC (and the Lower Mainland) and those interested can apply on their website.
The term is over a three-year lease at $599 a month. Keep in mind that includes all your gas, maintenance and more.
I had the chance of testing one for a week, and I must say, I was really excited to drive it. This crossover is quiet, smooth, and quite nice to drive.
While there may only be one fuelling station available and I had to fuel up within business hours, it was a sacrifice I was willing to make.
Range on this vehicle is much better than the FCEVs I’ve driven in the past. I can get approximately 426km per fill.
Besides, I like the innovation behind this vehicle. In places like British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, where hydropower is in abundance, this kind of vehicle makes a lot of sense.
Infrastructure is another topic of discussion so I’ll leave that be for now.
Sure, there are a few catches/sacrifices one must make in order to live with a FCEV, but I’m hopeful these types of cars can offer yet another realistic option for zero-emission driving.
2015 Hyundai Tucson FCEV at a glance
Performance: 134 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque- Not too shabby
Exterior: Pleasing to the eye
Interior: Hyundai does a great job with interior execution
Reliability: No issues during my test period
Safety: The FCEV has been crash tested many times, no fear of driving it on my end
Value: Not a cheap “green” option but not astronomical either