With their venture into hydrogen fuel cell development making steady progress, Hyundai takes their work on the potential power source a notch higher by creating a bespoke platform centered around improving the fueling demands of a fuel cell vehicle. While it takes after the shape and cues of the Tucson, the Hyundai Nexo was built from the ground up to improve upon the outgoing fuel cell Tuscon. Supposedly this new crossover will have better efficiency, reliability, and – most importantly – range as compared to the Tuscon FCEV.
The new platform allows the Nexo to have better packaging for the hydrogen fuel tank. Now sitting below the rear passenger floor, the new tank now holds 6.3kg worth of hydrogen as opposed to the Tucson’s 5.6kg – thereby extending its range from 425km to 560km in the Nexo. Power is on the up and up too, with the Nexo’s fuel cell stack (the thing that converts hydrogen to electricity) able to generate 130PS. Match that with the 54PS generated from the lithium ion-powered electric motor and we get a total of 184PS to the Nexo’s drive motor. The drive motor itself though runs at 163PS with 395 Nm of torque – giving the Nexo a 0-60 time of just 9.9 seconds versus the Tuscon FCEV’s 12.5.
Durability is also another thing Hyundai have improved upon for the Nexo. Having been tested for an equivalent of 160,000km/10 years worth of wear, the fuel cell system will supposedly hold till about 240,000km when the fuel cell stack is expected to degrade. That said, Hyundai’s fuel cell system will last pretty much as long as any conventional internal combustion engine.
Considering that the Tuscon FCEV was marketed as a vehicle ‘on-lease’ to interested parties before, we’ve yet to confirm if Hyundai will use the same method to commercialize the Nexo. Nonetheless, places such as California may soon see more of these fuel cell vehicles on the road as development continues.