Each Hyundai Nexo hydrogen car being used in Australian fleet trials of the future technology will reportedly cost taxpayers $99,000 over three years – or $2750 per month – which is more than the repayments on most luxury cars.
And once the fleet trial ends, the hydrogen vehicles will be returned to Hyundai rather than sold by the government as a used car to recoup some of the cost.
Furthermore, the figures show Hyundai Nexo hydrogen vehicles cost more than the Toyota Mirai hydrogen car being used in Melbourne fleet trials.
Figures obtained by Queensland newspaper The Courier Mail revealed taxpayers in the Sunshine State will pay $495,000 over three years for five Hyundai Nexo hydrogen vehicles.
Hyundai’s loan or lease program works out to be $99,000 over three years or $2750 per month for each car.
Unlike most other government fleet vehicles – which recoup a portion of their cost when sold as a used car – the Hyundai Nexo hydrogen SUVs will be handed back to the car company.
Brisbane is poised to become the next capital city to roll out a fleet trial of hydrogen cars, after hydrogen refuelling stations opened in Melbourne and Canberra in late March 2021.
Brisbane is due to open a hydrogen refuelling station by the end of this year, with five Hyundai Nexo vehicles due to be used in the fleet trial in the Sunshine State.
The cost of Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fleet trial vehicles in Queensland and Canberra had previously been shrouded in secrecy.
While the cost of the 20 Hyundai Nexo hydrogen cars (pictured below) involved in the Canberra fleet trial has not be revealed, it is unlikely to differ greatly, if at all, from Queensland’s pricing.
Supporters of the advanced technology say such trials are designed to help make the rollout of hydrogen cars more affordable in the years ahead and potentially expedite their introduction, after learning how the vehicles operate in the daily grind in the hands of fleet users.
However it could be some time before hydrogen vehicles are priced within reach of average car buyers.
As a guide, in the UK a Hyundai Nexo is listed at £69,500, which equates to AU$124,000.
An entry-level Toyota Mirai is listed as starting from £49,995, which equates to AU$89,500 based on exchange rates as this article was published.
To date, Toyota and Hyundai are the only two vehicle manufacturers in Australia involved in real-world fleet trials of hydrogen cars.
Hyundai was the first brand to commence public trials locally, formally launching its program on Friday 26 March 2021 in Canberra, while Toyota's hydrogen-car fleet trial (pictured above) officially started on Monday 29 March 2021 in Melbourne.
A Brisbane hydrogen-car fleet trial is due to start by the end of 2021, though exact timing is yet to be confirmed.