Hyundai and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are extending their fuel cell vehicle confirmation program, originally from 2013 through 2015, to its second phase, from 2016 through 2017. The program involves Hyundai providing a number of Tucson Fuel Cell CUVs for daily use and confirmation by the DOE using existing hydrogen infrastructure. This phase of the program will make significant use of a newly-opened hydrogen refueling station in the Washington D.C. region.
Phase one of the program focused exclusively in the Southern California region, where the earliest hydrogen infrastructure existed. Phase two further expands the program’s reach to Northern California, Washington D.C., Michigan and Denver. Phase two starts in July 2016 in conjunction with the opening of the newest D.C.-based hydrogen station. Tucson Fuel Cell CUVs will use this newest DOE-developed hydrogen station extensively.
The Hyundai/DOE partnership effectively continues preparation for the rollout of fuel cell vehicles nationwide in the near future. Some key advantages of hydrogen fuel cells over battery-powered electrified vehicles is their quick refueling capability, longer range, more flexible vehicle size scalability and maintenance of range performance in colder climates.