Many people agree that fossil fuels could someday run dry and that hydrogen-fueled cars, like the Hyundai Nexo, will play an important part. Fuel cell cars ultimately have two major advantages over EV’s; they can drive further and refuel considerably faster.
Hyundai Nexo Fueled And Ready
The Nexo is built on a new dedicated fuel cell platform providing greater power and improved driving dynamics compared to the Tucson/iX35. The Nexo’s electric motor output is 120 kilowatts (161 hp) which is up from 100 kW. Combining hydrogen and oxygen captured from the ambient air, a fuel cell generates electricity and water. That electricity feeds the electric motor and drives the front wheels through a direct-drive gearbox. The Hyundai Nexo offers a full-tank driving distance of 800 km (500 miles), 200 km further compared to the fuel cell version of its predecessor. Refueling also take just five minutes.
According to Hyundai, the Nexo overcomes cold-start issues, common with fuel cell cars, and can start in 30 seconds at -30 degrees Celsius. A vast improvement compared to -4 degrees Celsius on the Hyundai Tucson. The durability of the fuel stack has also been improved from 800 hours to 5 000 hours, similar to an internal combustion engine. Brimming with confidence from the technological advances, the Hyundai Nexo comes with a 10-year warranty on up to 160 000 km of driving.
Hyundai Nexo Safety and Styling
Among the plethora of tech and safety equipment is an industry first, surround view camera blind-spot monitor. A camera monitoring system that beams images of rear and side blind spots to a center console display during lane changes. In addition, lane steering assistance automatically adjusts steering to help keep the Nexo in the right lane and remote parking assistance can park the Nexo even with no-one inside.
Judging by the exterior, it’s undoubtedly Hyundai with the cascading grille, split headlights and LED daytime running lights while automated flush door handles add a futuristic look and feel. Specially designed 18- or 19-inch wheels and D-pillar roof support improve the aerodynamic performance by some margin.
The cabin is nothing like any other Hyundai except maybe the typeface for some of the controls. It offers elegance, style and full-width design elements for a sense of space. A two-spoke steering wheel, a pair of 12.3-inch displays, a push-button transmission and a floating center console completes the package.
For fuel-cell cars to really make an impact, countries need to invest billions in the infrastructure. For now, the Nexo will only be available in California as they plan to have over 100 hydrogen refueling stations by 2019. Germany is another promising market as they already have 30 hydrogen refueling stations and are planning a nationwide project for 400 more by 2025.