Hyundai Motor, the world’s fifth largest automaker when combined with affiliate Kia Motors, has announced its intention to cut the price of its fuel cell electric vehicle based on the Tucson SUV by 43 percent in its home market.
The South Korean carmaker has not uncovered any breakthroughs in the production technology needed to build fuel cell cars – it’s simply preparing to face upcoming competition in the segment – from Toyota’s Mirai and further down the road from Honda as well. The company also seeks to popularize the technology at home and abroad, where it’s also mulling similar price reductions of the model. In South Korea, the automaker hopes to gain more customers after the price of the fuel cell Tucson will go down to 85 million won ($77,189). While sister company Kia focused on battery-powered electrics, Hyundai has long been the advertiser of fuel cell environmentally friendly technology, but adoption has been trumped by the huge upfront cost and – just like with battery-electrics – lack of refueling stations.
South Korea currently has just one hydrogen fuelling station, with another set to open in the coming months and a government pledge to lift the number to 200 units by 2025. “A significant price cut in the fuel-cell driven Tucson line of vehicles will allow higher supply volume for fuel-cell vehicles in general by making them more affordable for consumers,” commented the automaker. Hyundai has only delivered about 200 fuel cell Tucsons by now, including in the US and to European markets.