Hyundai, once again is innovating the automotive industry. Hyundai, has expressed plans to release Hydrogen powered vehicles as early as next spring. Whether or not they will make it to Glenbrook Hyundai, the Happy Car Store, is still undetermined at this point. The cars possibly will get a 300 mile range and a 10 minute charge time. This is innovation at its finest, which is what we’ve grown to expect from Hyundai. To see our other innovations, you can contact us, or come to our showroom in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We are always friendly here at the Happy Car Store!
Despite being the most common atom in the universe and the major power source of stars, humans have found it difficult to use hydrogen for its energy needs. Even though using pure hydrogen in internal-combustion engines in cars is generally cleaner and more technically efficient than gasoline-powered engines, the initial cost of the technology and getting the pure hydrogen in the first place remain significant obstacles.
Hyundai seems to be making a stab at making the technology viable. The car company has announced that in spring 2014, they would make an SUV available in Southern California for lease at $499 per month for 36 months with $2,999 down.
“Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles represent the next generation of zero-emission vehicle technology, so we’re thrilled to be a leader in offering the mass-produced, federally certified Tucson Fuel Cell to retail customers,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, in a press release.
The price includes unlimited free hydrogen refueling and At Your Service Valet Maintenance to assuage concerns of the cost of hydrogen refueling.
Hydrogen-powered vehicles have not made as much of a high profile splash on the market as electric and hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles. While electric and hybrid vehicles are very efficient in urban environments, larger versions vehicles intended for families have been more difficult of a sell due to their high cost and slow recharge times.
Hyundai says that their new hydrogen-powered car will be more efficient than gasoline cars and cheaper and quicker than electric cars. Their website claims that the new car will have a driving range of up to 300 miles and can fully refuel in under 10 minutes. The SUV will emit only water vapor, rather than the heavy carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions of gasoline-powered cars.
The hydrogen fuel cell works by pulling hydrogen fuel (H2) into the anode while oxygen from the air is pulled into the cathode. A catalyst splits the electrons from the hydrogen atoms, and an electrolyte conducts the positively charged hydrogen ions across the fuel cell while blocking the electrons.
The remaining electrons create an external circuit to power the car. A second catalyst recombines the hydrogen ions and electrons with oxygen from the air to make water vapor and heat.
Several of the fuel cells are stacked together to meet the voltage needs of the car.
The largest problem in what is called the “hydrogen economy,” including these hydrogen-powered vehicles, is how to get the pure hydrogen in the first place. Though most atoms on Earth are hydrogen atoms, they are most commonly bound to oxygen as water. Pure hydrogen, or H2, is so light that it stays high in the atmosphere along with all of the other molecules that make up our air.
Today, the great majority of hydrogen is produced from fossil fuel sources and produces carbon dioxide. Another option is hydrolysis, which is to split water into two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom, but this requires energy input from another source like fossil fuel or renewable energy.
A press release from Hyundai said that their fuel cell prototypes have used hydrogen generated from the Orange County Sanitation District where methane from sewage is turned into hydrogen.
Hydrogen power can stay clean and reduce the world’s carbon emissions as long as we stick to using energy from wind and solar to make the hydrogen fuel, Hyundai maintains.
California currently has nine hydrogen refueling stations and recently committed to building 100 more. The first four Hyundai dealers that will offer the Tucson Fuel Cell will be Hardin Hyundai in Anaheim, Win Hyundai in Carson, Keyes Hyundai in Van Nuys and Tustin Hyundai; the company expects more dealerships to offer the car as well.