The Hyundai Nexo: A Look At the Korean Hydrogen-Powered SUV

The Hyundai Nexo

The Hyundai Nexo

The Hyundai Nexo was recently unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and has since sparked interesting dialogue regarding what is possible in terms of driving range for green vehicles. To showcase the cutting-edge fuel cell technology that powers the Nexo, the auto manufacturer completed a 189 km journey from Seoul to PyeongChang in the lead-up to the Olympic Games – a veritable walk in the park for the vehicle that Hyundai says can clear 609 km on a single charge.

How Does a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Work?

In short: hydrogen is combined with oxygen to generate electricity, which emits water and heat as by-products. This is a much more fuel-efficient route than gas-powered combustion engines – the hydrogen cell converts 60% of the fuel consumed into usable energy, while fossil fuels loses up to 75% in heat. An on-board lithium-ion battery delivers power in a linear fashion and provides the power necessary for initial acceleration.

What Does It Look Like?

The Nexo has a recognisable ‘Hyundai’ look, with sleek SUV styling that combines high-tech applications with retro feel. There is plenty of space in the cabin and the cargo area can hold up to 461 litres. Tech lovers will also be happy to know that the Hyundai fuel-cell variant comes with all the expected bells and whistles, including an intuitive colour touchscreen.

How Does the Nexo Handle?

The Nexo pretty much drives like a conventional vehicle, except for the fact that there might be a slight delay (around 30 seconds) in power delivery if it’s really cold outside. According to the manufacturer, the fuel cell should last around 10 years (i.e. 5000 hours for an average driver), which is a considerable increase when you take into account that the Tucson EV only delivers 5 years’ worth of power. It takes around 5 minutes to fuel up with hydrogen using a special pressurised pump. Once full, the driver is then cleared to hit the road for up to 609 kilometres. The only drawback at the moment is that there are very few countries, even in developed nations, that have a well-established hydrogen distribution network.

The Nexo is not bound for South Africa soon, but will be rolled out in various northern countries over the course of the year. Drive the development of future-proof green energy by supporting the companies that blaze the trail towards sustainability. Get in touch with your nearest Group 1 Hyundai dealer today to test drive a Hyundai and become a part of the solution.

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