The Solely Hydrogen Gas Cell SUV
Whereas automakers focus a whole lot of consideration on battery electrical autos as their future merchandise, hydrogen fuel-cell electrical automobile (FCEV) expertise has been with us for some time, too. There at present are three choices within the U.S. market, however the all-new Hyundai Nexo is the one one which’s an SUV.
Hyundai has supplied a FCEV for a number of years primarily based on its compact Tucson crossover, however you’ve probably by no means seen it. The Nexo is its successor, on a devoted platform, and has improved on the Tucson in each manner. It’s nice trying, too, inside and outside.
Upgrades All Over
The 2019 Hyundai Nexo stretches 10.Three inches longer than the Tucson, on a 5.9-inch longer wheelbase. It spreads an inch wider however sits an inch decrease. That, together with quite a few wind-cheating design options, provides it a powerful Zero.32 coefficiency of drag (cd).
The brand new 161-horsepower/120-kilowatt (kW) motor replaces the 100 kW one within the Tucson, for 25 p.c increased peak acceleration and a Zero-60 time of simply 9.5 seconds vs. the Tucson’s 12.5. The motor’s 291 pounds-feet of torque is 70 greater than the Tucson. The brand new lithium-ion 40-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery is manner forward of the Tucson’s 24 kWh, giving the usual mannequin Nexo a variety of 380 miles–a 115-mile enhance. Your complete powertrain is lighter and extra environment friendly.
The EPA numbers are 65 metropolis/58 freeway/61 mixed for miles-per-gallon-equivalent (MPGe). I averaged 57.7 MPGe throughout my take a look at week.
The Science Behind the Automotive
The science of hydrogen fuel-cell autos is easy to clarify, however very sophisticated to do. Right here, we’ll settle for that H1—half of the H2 in H2O (water) is mixed with O (oxygen) to kind solely water as a byproduct. By passing the compressed hydrogen gas by way of the 95-kW gas cell’s membrane, the gas cell generates electrical energy to cost the battery that powers the Nexo’s motor.
Hydrogen isn’t discovered as H1 in nature—it likes to mix with issues—so it must be break up off to create a transportation gas. That takes vitality, so how the gas is made (and transported) contributes in various levels to carbon dioxide manufacturing.
The opposite complexity is that the prevailing hydrogen gas distribution community is tiny. The present FCEV fleet is small and largely confined to California (which has packages to assist it), so if you happen to dwell in a significant city space, gas is accessible—however not elsewhere. [ed. be aware: The refueling state of affairs was sophisticated additional when quickly after Steve examined his Nexo, a facility that was the chief hydrogen provider for the area skilled an explosion that resulted in many of the stations operating out of hydrogen.)
There at present are 11 hydrogen stations within the San Francisco Bay Space, the place I dwell (and 40 within the state). I went right down to the closest one and located a line of 4 Honda Claritys and Toyota Mirais forward of me. I used to be comfortable to see the vehicles’ recognition, however this might develop into an issue if extra individuals tackle possession of considered one of these high-tech rides and there aren’t sufficient stations constructed to fill them.
Past the Gas
The 2019 Hyundai Nexo completely hits the mark in styling. It seems like a pleasant crossover, whereas the Honda and Toyota fashions are each oddly rendered sedans. My take a look at automobile, in good-looking Nightfall Blue hue, was the Blue trim degree. It comes with a great deal of security and comfort options, whereas the Restricted mannequin above it grows the wheels from 17s to 19s and provides a sunroof, energy liftgate and Distant Good Parking Help (RSPA). RSPA helps you to park in both a parallel or perpendicular parking house with out being contained in the automobile!
Dr. Woong-chul Yang, Hyundai’s Vice Chairman, referred to as the brand new Nexo an “earth-saving effort.” Apart from the cleaner powertrain, it makes use of varied ecological supplies, together with soybean-oil-based polyurethane paint, bamboo-thread-based bio material, and bio-plastic and bio-carpet extracted from sugar cane. These supplies are employed in 47 totally different components, lowering CO2 by 26 kilos throughout manufacturing.
My take a look at Nexo offered a splendid driving expertise, with a lovely light-gray inside. Its dramatic center-console bridge jogged my memory of Volvo inside design. The 12.Three-inch heart display screen is nicely laid out, and as in different new Hyundais, all the things is simple to seek out and use.
Each trim ranges are stuffed with premium options, so are premium-priced as nicely. My blue tester began at $58,300 plus transport. The Restricted begins at $61,800. At present, for a restricted time, you possibly can select 1.9 p.c APR financing for as much as 60 months with $7,500 off or a $399/month lease for 36 months with $2,999 down. Both manner, of course, you need to dwell in California.
So, how adventurous are you? Whereas plug-in electrical autos are nice, they will have points with charging and vary. Hydrogen fuel-cell electrical vehicles allow you to pull right into a station (so long as you could find one) and refill in 5 minutes (so long as there’s not an enormous line). Nonetheless, you possibly can’t go far out of California with one, which is one other kind of vary nervousness. Regardless, Hyundai’s new Nexo FCEV is a big step ahead.
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Associated Tales You Would possibly Take pleasure in—Gas Cell contenders
Roadvert Check: 2019 Hyundai Nexo Gas Cell CUV (Gary’s view)
Highway Check: 2017 Hyundai Tucson Hydrogen Gas Cell
First Drive: 2017 Honda Readability Gas Cell Electrical
Highway Check: 2019 Toyota Mirai Gas Cell
Information: Toyota Mirai Gross sales Mark
Flash Drive: 2017 Toyota Mirai FCEV
Information: Mercedes GLC F-Cell Coming
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