The Nexo – Hyundai’s newest practical hydrogen fuel cell car – made its debut on Monday during the Hyundai’s press conference at CES 2018.
“Hydrogen energy is the key to building a more sustainable society. Hyundai Motor Company has already taken a lead in hydrogen technology with introduction of Tucson fuel cell,” said Dr. Woong-chul Yang, Vice Chairman, Hyundai Motor Company.
“Yet as another result of this earth-saving effort, today, I am so proud to introduce to you our second-generation Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle which is a culmination of our cutting-edge technologies.”
The Nexo picks up from where the Tucson FCEV left of. The Tuscon was Hyundai’s first attempt at a mass-produced hydrogen-powered vehicle that was available for customers to lease. The Nexo has similar proportions to the current Tucson compact SUV, but it has been built with a fuel cell in mind, meaning the structure is lighter and accommodates the hydrogen fuel tanks in a more strategic layout.
The result is a SUV that is 20 per cent quicker than the Tucson and can reach 100km/h in 9.6 seconds.
The Hyundai NEXO has a claimed range of around 600km — 30 per cent more than the Tucson FCEV (425km) and also more than the Tesla Model S’s circa-500km range. However, Hyundai sources insist 800km has been achieved in regular testing.
Unlike battery electric cars, which can take hours to charge, refuelling the hydrogen fuel-cell car’s pressurised tank takes only slightly longer than it does to fill a petrol or diesel vehicle – Hyundai says it’s around five minutes.
The biggest hurdle facing hydrogen cars like the NEXO remains a lack of refuelling infrastructure. Refuelling stations are few and far between. Japan for example has 28,000 EV charging stations but only 92 hydrogen fuelling stations.
Prices for the car are yet to be revealed but will likely be revealed shortly before the car goes on sale later this year.