Car Slut Confessions: H1 Virus

3 min read

A friend of mine recently sent me an email proposing that we test drive a Hyundai. Now, Mama’s a busy lady and tooling around in a Hyundai isn’t exactly at the top of weekend wish list. However, this friend is from the CA Fuel Cell Partnership & this Hyundai is the 2015 F-Cell Tucson (meaning this is hydrogen, baby). So, like any good car slut, I obliged.  But first I needed to drive to the valley, pick up my gas guzzling SUV from service and fill it with $70 worth of fuel (that’s not even a full tank, that’s just how much I can stomach).

I show up a few minutes late to this:

hyundai f cell Tucson hydrogen

Now, she’s not particularly sexy– Michigan plates, simple Hyundai styling and small wheels.  But my friend Keith is fun, so I suck it up.  I sit down, swallow my snobbery and buckle in.  He pushes start and, because it’s an electric engine, we hear nothing. So much for starting with a bang.  “The first thing car people ask me is,” Keith explains, “I know this thing is going to shoot rainbows out of its tailpipe, but is it gonna suck?”  Is he reading my mind?

“I like to remind them that with an electric engine,  you get immediate torque.”  Ah, Keith, I think we’re gonna have some fun in this Hyundai– words I thought I’d never mutter.  With that, we get going.  Now, Hyundai is smart enough to allow only Keith drive (cuz you know I’d be fully testing that torque theory & burning straight through those little tires), so I try to be a good girl and listen to the pitch.

His organization, the CA Fuel Cell Partnership, is committed to making sure that, as F-cells come to market, California’s got the resources to support them.  The Tucson fills up in 10 minutes or less (compared to the 3 hour charge of an e-vehicle) and its only emission is water (it pees when it gets excited? no wonder I connect with this car). And, starting in April, it will available for lease at $500/month– which includes the car, maintenance and …wait for it… the fuel.  Just as I try to comfort myself with visions of M buttons and sounds of revving RPMs, he drops another bomb– when it comes to the Tucson’s maintenance– they come to you. Ug. Now my Saturday morning antics are looking more and more antiquated– like I just spent 1/2 of my weekend churning butter or organizing my 8 track collection.

Hyundai Tucson F cell hydrogen

We continue on our ride down Topanga Canyon and onto PCH towards Malibu, which, due to traffic and several Johnnie Law sightings, doesn’t turn into anything Le Mans-worthy, but it’s smooth, comfortable and well equipped.  Just then I realize that during my daily commute, I’m shackled with the same limitations– red lights, speed traps & bumper to bumper traffic– thus I rarely get out of 3rd gear on the average day. Between this and the economic/ environmental ramifications, I can’t help but think– maybe going electric or fuel cell isn’t completely crazy, as long as I can park something sporty in my second garage bay.

I’m not sayin’ I’m jumping straight on the H train or am going to stop sniffing petrol any time soon. I’m just sayin’ that for the girl that wrote In Defense Of The Gas Guzzler, I’m feeling sluttier all the time.

Learn more about the Fuel Cell Tucson here:

https://www.hyundaiusa.com/tucsonfuelcell/

California’s Fuel Cell Parnership here:

http://cafcp.org/

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