Hyundai‘s Tucson Fuel Cell has set a land speed record at California’s Soggy Dry Lake bed.
The crossover reached a top speed of 94.6 mph on the lake’s natural hard-packed desert surface. The achievement is slightly higher than Hyundai’s quoted top speed of 93 mph on pavement.
The company is not going up against the overall record, currently held by the supersonic ThrustSSC. In fact, the Tucson Fuel Cell is effectively setting the first benchmark in the niche category for production fuel-cell SUVs.
The record-setting run was made in relatively close proximity to refueling locations in the Los Angeles area, approximately 100 miles from a hydrogen station in Diamond Bar. Owners can theoretically make the same round-trip run without exhausting the Tucson FCV’s 265-mile EPA-estimated driving range.
Hyundai has leased or sold under 100 hydrogen-powered crossovers in Southern California since the first example was delivered in June 2014. The numbers appear to be significantly short of the company’s 1,000-unit global target for the year. It is unclear if the model is experiencing faster growth in other markets.
Sales are likely being restrained by the lack of refueling infrastructure. The most hydrogen-developed state, California, currently hosts just four active retail stations, according to a list maintained by the California Fuel Cell Partnership.