At no fault of their own, Hyundai launched its first 2019 Nexo in Northern California, which, at this moment, is currently in the middle of an H2 shortage.
Hyundai now officially has hydrogen vehicles in both Southern and Northern California. According to Hyundai in a press release they put out earlier today (Feb. 6, 2019) San Jose resident Steven Vo was the first lucky Northern Californian to make history forgoing the Honda Clarity and Toyota Mirai and opting for the much larger Hyundai Nexo hydrogen FCV as his choice into the world of hydrogen. But, as I blogged about earlier last week, Northern California is entering into week three of an overall Hydrogen supply shortage that is straining non-Air Products stations and is proving, again, just how finicky the local refueling infrastructure is.
Dr. Vo picked up his new SUV at Capitol Hyundai in San Jose to become the first Northern California customer to drive off in the new NEXO, the only mass-produced fuel cell SUV for the U.S. market, boasting a range up to 380 miles.
First, as mentioned, none of this is Hyundai’s fault per say. They’ve made a worthy successor to their former FCV, the Hydrogen powered Hyundai Tucson. The Nexo is, in every way, a better FCV. With a range of 380 miles with a full tank under ideal conditions and the tail of the tape under the hood of 163 HP and a generous 291 lb-ft, it’s enough to propel this H2 SUV to 60 MPH in a decent 10 seconds, it’s a modern day marvel of engineering.
As Mr. Vo is from San Jose, he’ll naturally be refueling from the San Jose True Zero Hydrogen station. But, with that station supplied by Air Products who, at this time STILL have not released any new information on the shortage, and likely won’t, constantly running dry, Mr.Vo’s new Nexo is next to no good without H2.
According to H2-CA.com, San Jose’s station runs dry at least once in a 24 hour period. There are stretches of several hours that there is hardly any H2 in San Jose.
Here’s a tweet with a screenshot of True Zero’s founder bemoaning the lack of communication from Air Products and several screenshots of the situation in San Jose and other surrounding stations.
Entering week 3 of the NorCal H2 shortage pic.twitter.com/HLVckE76dj
— Paulo nonVTEC Acoba (@ferio_252) February 5, 2019
Unacceptable of Air Products. pic.twitter.com/vNfgQOwaZq
— Paulo nonVTEC Acoba (@ferio_252) February 6, 2019
Air Product’s business is gases and chemicals with a global market to deal with, let alone dealing with a small part of California. Only Linde and one Air Liquide station are Air Product’s main local rivals, but with stations so far apart, it doesn’t even matter.
With the amount of Hydrogen FCVs driving around Northern and Southern California the H2 infrastructure is already super fragile as it is. If and when Air Products gets its act together in Northern California and with the influx of dozens of Nexos, I wonder how, in a perfect state, Northern California’s H2 infrastructure copes.
Southern Cal again.
My next car is gonna be a Clarity PHEV. I will never plug it in, but I’ll get the red car pool stickers, which my wife will drive again.
When I drive it I pay attention to the supply, she DOES NOT. No matter how much I warn her to do so.
So, I guess tomorrow she’ll drive the Ridgeline, which is full, and next week we’ll see.