With all these talks about how electric (EVs) and hybrid vehicles (HEVs) are the future of automobile propulsion, people seem to forget that there is also hybrogen power available. Called fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), these hydrogen-powered cars are also paving the way for a cleaner and more efficient future besides EVs and HEVs.
Recently, Hyundai showed that hydrogen-powered cars are as frugal, if not more frugal than other environmentally-friendly systems. It came in the form of the all-new Nexo, Hyundai's latest hydrogen-powered vehicle. The feat was achieved by Bertrand Piccard, a French aeronaut and president of the Solar Impulse Foundation Board.
The 61-year old Swiss National left Sarraguemines, France on Monday November 25 and arrived the next day at the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace (Air and Space Museum) in Le Bourget – a distance of 778 km. According to Hyundai, no production car powered by hydrogen has been able to cover nearly 780 km on just one tank of hydrogen. In addition, the Nexo was still capable of traveling for another 49 km despite already covering 778 km.
With it, Piccard was able to break the world record for the longest distance traveled in a hydrogen-powered vehicle on a single refueling.
But Piccard wasn't alone on his journey as he was joined by several prominent passengers. This allowed Piccard to demonstrate how hydrogen power could soon power more vehicles on the road. Among those that joined Piccard included Grand Duke Henri of Luxemborg, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, and Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy and Finance of France.
“With this adventure, we have proven that with clean technologies, we no longer need revolutionary experimental prototypes to break records. Everyone can now do it with standard zero-emission vehicles. A new era in performance is beginning, for the benefit of environmental protection,” said Piccard.
For Lionel French-Keogh, Managing Director of Hyundai France, this is proof once more that hydrogen power is no longer something in the field of science fiction. It is now reality and thanks to Piccard's record-breaking attempt, it has further disspelled any doubts about its use on vehicles.
“We share with him the conviction that it is possible to change our consumption in a sustainable way and hydrogen is an answer to this issue. We see respect for the environment as a vector for growth and not as an obstacle to innovation,” added French-Keogh.
With its capability to travel further than EVs and HEVs, maybe hydrogen is the way for making long distance travel possible. And with 163 PS with 395 Nm of torque from its power unit, the Hyundai Nexo is no slouch either. Moreover, Hyundai claims that the Nexo 'vaccuum-cleans dirty air as you drive', which can help clean the environment in the long run.