Hyundai has announced that they will introduce a hydrogen-powered version of their Tucson SUV in time for the 2015 model year. Though hydrogen fuel cells are a cleaner way to power a car than gasoline, the technology hasn’t really taken off yet, but Hyundai hopes that the new Tucson will help change that. Helping consumers understand a new kind of technology is always important in helping the technology’s acceptance and popularity, because even an environmentally friendly way to do things won’t be accepted if it’s too confusing or inconvenient. Richard Scott, from Shell Hydrogen, talked to Autobytel’s Editor-in-Chief, Michelle Naranjo, about the basics of fuel cells and demonstrated how a hydrogen fueling station works. Right now, owners of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles need a PIN, like at an ATM, to top off their vehicles at hydrogen fueling stations. The PIN releases the charging equipment, which looks and feels like a gas pump, and it hooks up to a panel in the car that is hidden behind a gas flap-like door. The station has a built-in safety feature to ensure there is a tight, leak-proof connection to the car. Eventually, though, the experience will be similar to using a regular gas pump at a regular fueling station, activated by a credit card instead of a PIN.
Powertech Hydrogen Fueling Station Overview for Fuel Cell Cars