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Hyundai Motor's fuel-cell car sales miss target

All Headlines 09:45 June 15, 2015

SEOUL, June 15 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co.'s global sales of fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV) have fallen far short of its earlier target over the past two years, the automaker said Monday, apparently due to a lack of necessary infrastructure and their relatively expensive prices.

South Korea's largest carmaker claims to be the first company in the world to begin mass production of FCEVs by unveiling the Tucson ix in 2013. FCEVs are regarded as pollution-free since water is their only by-product.

According to Hyundai Motor, 273 units of the Tucson ix FCEV have been shipped out for sales at home and abroad as of late last month.

In 2013 when the Tucson was launched, 76 units of the cars were sold. Sales came to 128 units in 2014 and 69 units during the first five months of this year, according to the company.

Of the 273 cars shipped out for sales, only 29 units have been sold here, with 116 and 117 vehicles exported to the U.S. and Europe, it added.

The sales figures are far smaller than the company's earlier target to sell 1,000 units by the end of this year.
The lower-than-expected sales are attributed to a lack of charging infrastructure available for customers along with relatively high prices.

There are 11 charging stations for FCEVs in Korea, with only two available in Seoul where more than 10 million people reside. The U.S. has around 10 hydrogen charging stations across the country.

In February, Hyundai Motor lowered the price of the Tucson FCEV to 85 million won (US$76,253) from 150 million won, but it is still too expensive compared to conventional vehicles. Also, it is not eligible for government subsides which are available for customers who purchase other kinds of electric vehicles here.


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