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The Hyundai Nexo shows that reasonably-priced fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) are no longer a pipe dream any more, so we decided to take a closer look.

Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell

Available from US$ 59k (or approximately Rs 45 lakh), the Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell is one of the cleanest forms of personal mobility available. However, the price is beside the point. It’s about going green. And, with many countries still dependent on coal for their energy requirements, a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle that uses hydrogen from tanks to generate electricity and emits only water vapour.

Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell

The world’s desire for SUV body styles is surprising from many perspectives yet understandable in some ways as well. The larger and heavier the car, the worse will be its efficiency. Yet, some countries have such terrible infrastructure that a level paved road is akin to a luxury. So, an SUV makes sense in that aspect, with the added ground clearance.

As with modern Hyundai vehicles, the Nexo uses an ultra-rigid structure made with Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) while being particularly light. Cabin noise and vibration levels are minimized and the suspension benefits from a rigid structure to precisely articulate body movement. A number of ecological materials are used in the construction, too, including soybean-oil based polyurethane paint, bamboo-thread-based bio fabric, bio-plastic and bio-carpet extracted from sugar cane. Bio-based materials were applied to 47 different parts and reduced CO2 emissions by nearly 11 kg during the manufacturing process.

Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell

The Hyundai Nexo benefits from aerodynamic design features including a D-pillar air tunnel, front wheel air curtains, aerodynamic wheel design, auto-flush door handles and hidden front wipers. These translate to an overall drag coefficient of 0.32; excellent for an SUV of this size. And that means smoother performance. Speaking of which.

The Nexo packs more than adequate go for what its intentions actually are. The fuel system and battery power a permanent-magnet 120-kW electric motor capable of 163 hp and 395 Nm. A single-speed automatic unit drives the front wheels. The Nexo can get up to 179 km/h and, in Blue trim level, has a travel range of more than 600 km.

The Hyundai Nexo FCEV doesn’t compromise on anything at all. In fact, it has more advanced safety and assistance features than a few higher-priced premium cars. These Advanced Driver Assist Systems include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), High Beam Assist (HBA), Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) for autonomously park or retrieve functions with or without a driver inside, as well as Blind-spot View Monitor (BVM) and Surround-view Monitors (SVM). Hyundai are the first to provide drivers with video footage from both sides of the vehicle with this feature.

Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell


About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


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