All-new Hydrogen-Powered Crossover Debuts at CES 2018
Hyundai was first on the market in 2014 with a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) version of its Tucson compact SUV. After several years of real world testing, Hyundai announced today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that an all-new FCEV, the Nexo, is coming in late 2018 as a 2019 model.
Hyundai was very smart in placing its hydrogen technology in a crossover, one of the hottest car segments in the country. With the Nexo, improvements over the current Tucson FCEV (which Smarticd recently tested) are noticeable and impressive.
The Nexo is a dedicated design and platform, differing from the Tucson FCEV, which was shared with the gasoline-powered Tucson. Being a purpose-built vehicle has several benefits, including placing the battery and fuel cell systems in optimum locations for increased interior cabin space and better weight distribution for improved handling and balance.
The Nexo has a 120-kW motor, which delivers 291 pounds-feet of torque, and a 40-kW battery, all increases over the outgoing Tucson. The numbers that potential owners will be interested in though are the 9.5 seconds 0-60, and a 370-mile estimated driving range.
Advanced Technology Testbed
The Nexo will come with advanced driver assistance technologies, including a Blind-spot View Monitor, Lane Following Assist, Highway Driving Assist and Remote Smart Parking Assist. All these systems are anticipated to be available when the Nexo goes on sale later this year.
This new technology led to the enticing tidbit revealed today at CES—Hyundai’s plans to use the Nexo as its test vehicle for the development of autonomous driving. Hyundai showed a short video where the Nexo was cruising along on a mountain road with the driver’s hands not on the steering wheel. To accomplish its goal of a self-driving car, Hyundai has entered into a partnership with Aurora, a Silicon Valley company headed by a former Google autonomous vehicle executive.
A California Car
Pricing was not announced, but if Hyundai stays true to its history, the Nexo will be somewhere in the same price range as the three current hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the market—its Tucson, the Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity. Anticipate the Nexo will be available on a lease-only basis and, until further hydrogen fuel station development takes place, it will only be for sale in California.
The Nexo joins Hyundai’s line of the three Ioniq models (a battery electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid). The Nexo will be a strong compliment to these and should be an indication that Hyundai is not stopping its development of electrified vehicles.
Smarticd will have a full review on the 2019 Nexo when it is made available to the automotive media.
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