Hydrogen is essentially the most ample ingredient within the universe. Too unhealthy it’s so troublesome and costly to get it into your gasoline tank.
After I obtained the invitation to attend the Hyundai Kona Electrical & Hyundai Nexo Gas Cell press drive occasion I’ve to confess I hoped I may handle to spend extra time with the Kona Electrical than the Nexo Gas Cell.
That wasn’t as a result of I hate gasoline cell automobiles, as a result of I don’t. I simply have a tough time believing that they’ll ever be as environment friendly and as handy as pure electrical vehicles, and I actually don’t assume we’ll ever have sufficient infrastructure put in to make them an actual viable various. Plus, I’ve been anxiously ready to get behind the wheel of a Kona Electrical, as I’ve been planning on getting one myself.
Because the press occasion labored out, Hyundai organized for all of us to have equal time behind the wheel of each automobiles; there wasn’t actually any technique to get round it. Half the day could be in a Nexo Gas Cell, and the opposite half in a Kona Electrical. I elected to take the Nexo first, and have the second half of the day with the Kona.
The Hyundai Nexo has a self parking choice, demonstrated right here by a Hyundai consultant
The deliberate route took us from our resort by means of bumper to bumper Los Angeles metropolis visitors for some time, earlier than a stint on the freeway, and eventually ending up on the winding roads of Topanga Canyon. The Nexo isn’t a fast car, and truly appeared a bit slower than Hyundai’s claimed Zero-60 time of 9.2 seconds. The Nexo weighs between three,990 and four,116 kilos relying on trim, and the motor’s 161 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque are satisfactory whereas driving round city, however undoubtedly underwhelming at increased speeds.
There actually isn’t a lot oomph at freeway speeds while you punch the accelerator, and I requested Dr. Bo Ki Hong, a fuel-cell specialist for Hyundai who was using together with me within the Nexo, if they might enhance the efficiency. He stated that it could be “difficult” to get far more energy supply. It’s price to notice that Hyundai did enhance the efficiency of the Nexo over their earlier hydrogen-powered providing, the Tucson Gas Cell. The Tucson wanted a full twelve seconds to achieve 60 mph.
However it’s not all unhealthy information for the Nexo. Apart from the mediocre energy, the Nexo is definitely an actual pleasure to drive. The seats had been very snug, and I actually liked the instrumentation in addition to the middle console. The driving force’s show and the middle show screens are related into one unit, regardless that they work as two impartial screens. I favored the structure, each for show and aesthetics.
It really felt like I used to be driving a car from high-end premium producer. To scale back noise, Hyundai used triple-layer noise-reducing glass on the windshield and entrance home windows, and the result’s a serene cabin expertise. The journalist I used to be partnered with felt the identical manner and stated Hyundai ought to rename it the “Chill,” as a result of it was so clean, quiet and cozy. The dealing with was compromised by the low-rolling resistance tires, however the car exhibited little or no body-roll and took the winding mountain roads of Topanga Canyon nicely.
Hyundai was additionally capable of decrease the rear flooring of the Nexo as in comparison with the Tucson by utilizing three smaller Hydrogen tanks, as a substitute of the 2 bigger ones within the Tucson. Two of the tanks are beneath the rear seat, and one is beneath the load bay. The Nexo utilized a 1.56-kilowatt-hour battery pack, and might retailer 6.33 kg (13.eight gallons) of hydrogen.
If I had been out there for a Hydrogen gasoline cell car, I consider this could be my alternative – by a large margin over the Toyota Mirai or Honda Readability, each of which I’ve had the chance to experience in. The experience high quality, consolation, luxurious and utility of a CUV make the Nexo the clear gasoline cell winner in my e-book. It’s worlds higher than Hyundai’s earlier gasoline cell providing, the Tucson. The Nexo additionally has an extended vary than the gasoline cell choices from Toyota and Honda, with 380 miles of vary in comparison with 312 for the Mirai and 366 for the Readability. However the 380 miles of vary is simply attainable with the bottom trim known as “Blue.” The “restricted” trim provides weight and bigger wheels which reduces the vary to 354 miles.
However that solely issues if you will discover a hydrogen refueling station, of which there aren’t many. California now has 35 working hydrogen stations, and that’s just about the one place within the nation the place there are H2 stations obtainable to the general public. That’s OK because the Nexo will solely be obtainable in California. We even had the chance to go to an H2 station and refuel a Nexo. The price of the Hydrogen at this station was $17.50/kg. Meaning refueling an empty Nexo would value $110 which divides out to a gasoline value of 29 cents per mile. That’s about thrice greater than a comparable environment friendly gasoline crossover would value to gasoline and between 5 and ten instances greater than the Kona Electrical would value to recharge, relying on the place you reside.
To offset the excessive value of Hydrogen, Hyundai is giving Nexo homeowners a bank card that offers them $5,000 of free Hydrogen. Each Toyota and Honda have comparable hydrogen subsidy applications for his or her gasoline cell prospects. Hyundai hasn’t launched pricing for the Nexo, however it’s anticipated to be about $55,000, making it a tricky promote when you think about the competitors in that worth vary.
That is the true purpose why I’m not so excessive on hydrogen gasoline cell automobiles. I’d actually prefer to consider they’ve a future as a chunk of the puzzle to maneuver the world off of fossil fuels, however I simply don’t see how they will compete with pure electrical vehicles in the long term. Once we had been on the Hydrogen refueling station, I seemed on the truck delivering the H2, the storage tanks they had been pumping it into, then the piping that took the H2 to a different smaller storage tank, then extra piping to deliver it to the pump. Then I thought of my residence photo voltaic array and the way I simply plug my automotive in, and the electrical energy made by daylight trickles into my battery. The considered that made the H2 station seem like a loopy Rube Goldberg machine of inefficiency. Possibly that can change some day.