Hyundai: To the Moon!

Hyundai has been offering its Tucson Fuel Cell crossover in Southern California since June 2014.

Hyundai has been offering its Tucson Fuel Cell crossover in Southern California since June 2014.

This is certainly rocket-science technology, but down to Earth in the sense that it is accessible to non-astronauts.

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And economically it is amazing: There’s a 36-month lease that requires $2,999 at signing, then $499 a month. That includes maintenance and all the hydrogen you can use. (The maintenance is undoubtedly thrown in for the simple reason that it permits the people at Hyundai to know precisely what’s what with its vehicles.)

This isn’t exactly beta testing because this is essentially a straight-up transaction, albeit one for futuristic technology. The vehicle travels approximately 265 miles on a tank of hydrogen. It takes only about 10 minutes to refuel. The emissions are merely water vapor.

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Notably, for those of you who are concerned that this ecologically friendly vehicle would be as exhilarating as overcooked oatmeal, know that as soon as the accelerator is depressed, there’s 221 lb-ft of torque at the ready. Compare that with a conventional 2015 Tuscon with a 2.4-liter gasoline direct injection four cylinder engine: it has maximum torque of 177 lb-ft, and it doesn’t get there until 4,000 rpm.

Admittedly, there is a small number of Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles out there right now.

About 60.

Still, the folks at Hyundai are fairly chuffed at the miles these people are racking up. It is calculated that the drivers have accumulated more than 238,900 miles.

That, Hyundai points out, is the distance from the Earth to the Moon.

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However, that isn’t as incredible as it might seem.

The vehicle has been out there since June 2014. So let’s call it six months because we’ll spot them two months for the roll out in dealerships.

The 238,900 miles translates into 39,816 miles per month. Given 60 Tucson Fuel Cells, that translates into 664 miles per vehicle, or about 2.5 tanks of hydrogen each per month.

Not exactly the proverbial Moonshot, but laudable nonetheless.