The Hyundai Nexo means Mirai and Clarity drivers will have to compete with Hyundai’s at the pump.
Today was another watershed moment for Hydrogen car lovers in and around the California area as now, there’s another major player on their turf. According to Hyundai on their report announcing Hyundai’s official entry into the local H2 petri dish earlier today (Dec. 29,2018) a customer at a Van Nuys Hyundai dealership was handed the keys to his new Nexo where shortly after, he got into his Nexo, leaving behind him a trail of water.
Todd Hochard, the lucky first owner of this Nexo in the Southern California area, according to Hyundai, is a former scientist whose eyed alternative energies for quite some time ever since getting behind the wheel of a hybrid 15 years ago, a Toyota Prius, no doubt, although this press release doesn’t mention any competitors names for obvious reasons *cough*Mirai*cough.*
Believe it or not, Nexo replaces Hyundai’s pioneer into the Hydrogen market, the Tucson Fuel Cell, which, whose absence in the news of any sort lends me to believe there weren’t many leases for those running around. The Nexo, however, is built on a bespoke platform meant for hydrogen, befitting of its 380-mile range.
California, through the California Fuel Cell Partnership, to their credit, has been opening up stations as of late. According to Green Car Congress, California celebrated opening three new stations opening all in the span of one week, which to be honest, is quite the anomaly seeing how fast hydrogen stations open. Two of these stations are in Northern California while the third opened a stone’s throw from Los Angeles International Airport, arguably a very important station given how many cars frequent the area.
As of this writing and quite indicative to the hydrogen infrastructure in the Southern California area, that particular LAX station closed temporarily as quickly as it opened. The station map reports,
This recently designated Open/Retail public HRS is experiencing some perplexing power supply issues; as such and until resolved, LAX WILL BE NON-Operational.
To date, there are just 24 hydrogen stations in the Southern California area out of the available 39. Here’s a map of one of the busiest stations, Lake Forest, Calif.
As you can see, the stations H2 level drops quite significantly in a 24 hour period, dropping to empty before needing a refill. This is not the case at most stations but this does illustrate that hydrogen cars are being leased at a rate far greater than the capacity that stations can handle.
This new Nexo, priced cheaper than the Mirai, will be an enticing choice, especially with 68 more miles of EPA rated range, 360 compared to 312. If and when the Nexo is leased at whatever rate the market dictates, I’ll be keen to see how the infrastructure adjusts.
Will the local Hydrogen infrastructure strain under the burden of a new player? Surely, by the time summer rolls around and traveling gets an uptick, we’ll see.
Honestly, an FCEV, or even a BEV, are not meant to be road cars for vacations, they are meant to be local and mid range commuters. Hopefully a second or third car.
And yes, the infrastructure is horrendous. I know I sound like a broken record, but Toyota did it by flooding the market with waaaaay too many Mirai.
It takes years to get a station built… it looks like 18 months alone to get the permits. Crazy but about par in California for anything that requires permits. I wonder if the DMV is handling it, you know… the one outfit with the sleeping clerks.
I’ve met a couple of Tucson leasers before, while at the H2 pump. They liked it, they said. It was a reasonable car inside and inoffensive on the outside. We’ll see what happens.
BTW, we got 30K miles on our Clarity by now, 19 months into the lease.