Hyundai Fuel Cell EV First Look: Hyundai Prepares its New FCEV SUV

CES 2018 Hyundai Reveals Nexo Fuel Cell Powered SUV

The Nexo can travel up to 370 miles, compared to the Tucson with its 265-mile range, and can be fully refueled in five minutes - try that with an electric vehicle. Details about the crossover SUV were revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show, underway now in Las Vegas. The extra mileage comes thanks to three big cylindrical tanks stowed under the NEXO's floor and seats. Built on its own dedicated architecture, it is also lighter and roomier inside, the new, more-compact components requiring less space for themselves. But Nexo is an all-new platform. But word is Hyundai chairman Chung Mong-koo wanted it and what Chung Mong-koo wants, he gets.

This photo from Hyundai Motor Co. shows the Hyundai NEXO, a next-generation fuel cell model unveiled at CES 2018.

However, Hyundai admits the Nexo is still created to be a mobile advert for hydrogen saying "It can not be very popular but it has a mission to showcase that hydrogen is the ultimate solution". Unless it sees electricity as the future, a propulsion option it offers in its ioniq and coming Kona EVs.

The Nexo is the latest in the wave of "eco" vehicles from the South Korean carmaker, a list that will include a mix of 18 hybrids, plug-ins, pure battery-electric vehicles and hydrogen cars by 2025.

Currently Hyundai leases fuel cell Tucson SUVs to its customers in areas with enough infrastructure to refuel the water-spouting vehicles. As is the case with any fuel-cell vehicle, it's going to be a chicken-and-egg situation before hydrogen stations are as prevalent as gas stations - or even EV charging points.

The NEXO's electric motor has a 120-kW output, or 161 hp, along with 291 lb-ft of torque, figures which Lee says are comparable to the company's internal combustion engine for an equivalent-size CUV.

Hyundai Fuel Cell EV First Look: Hyundai Prepares its New FCEV SUV
Hyundai Fuel Cell EV First Look: Hyundai Prepares its New FCEV SUV

Durability testing has included high-altitude testing in Mount Evans, Colorado, at 14,000 feet; towing up the steep Towne Pass in Death Valley on a 127-degree Fahrenheit day; and cold starts at -22 degrees Fahrenheit in Alaska. The NEXO's 0-60 time is 9.5 seconds, 20 percent faster than the Tucson FCV.

The Nexo includes some active-safety features and driver aids meant to add to its high-tech allure, including a self-driving system that will guide the vehicle within a lane-seemingly similar to the ProPilot Assist system for Level 2 autonomy offered on the 2018 Nissan Leaf.

The remote smart parking assist system enables the NEXO to autonomously park itself and get out of a parking space with or without a driver in the vehicle, the statement said.

Nexo came only seven years after Hyundai launched its first green vehicle, the Sonata Hybrid in the U.S. in 2011.

"We are pleased to announce yet another strategic partnership with a topmost innovator of self-driving technology, Aurora", said Yang Woong-chul, head of Hyundai's R&D.

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