BUSINESS

Hyundai’s Nexo FCEV offers longest 609-km driving range

By Kim Bo-gyung

Automaker aims to sell 10,000 hydroelectric vehicles by 2022

  • Published : Feb 5, 2018 - 15:02
  • Updated : Feb 5, 2018 - 15:02
Hyundai Motor, South Korea’s No. 1 carmaker, said Monday that the exact driving range of its latest hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle Nexo has been measured at 609 kilometers per charge, the longest among hydrogen-powered cars so far.

“Hydrogen is the ultimate medium when it comes to fostering the arrival of a world of clean energy,” said Pierre Etienne Franc, vice president of Air Liquide, before the media test drive of Nexo at Hyundai Motor Studio in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province.

“The achievement Hyundai Motor has shown through Nexo is a remarkable one that has contributed to making a hydrogen-based society.”

He is also the secretary of Hydrogen Council, which Hyundai chairs.

Hyundai Motor’s next-generation hydrogen fuel cell system generates a driving distance 200 kilometers longer than the Tucson FCEV, the company said.

The upgraded hydrogen tank with enlarged storage capacity and hydrogen storage density has also contributed to increasing driving range.

Hyundai‘s next-generation Nexo fuel cell electric vehicle has a driving distance of 609 kilometers per charge, the longest among hydrogen cars. (Hyundai Motor)

Prior to taking a two-track approach in electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles, Hyundai Motor had initially focused on hydrogen fuel cells, rivaling Japanese auto giant Toyota.

In 2013 Hyundai mass-produced the industry’s first ever FCEV, the Tucson ix.

Seeking to dominate the FCEV market, Hyundai unveiled Nexo at last month‘s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas,

Nexo will be released here next month with a long-term goal to reach an accumulated 10,000 hydroelectric vehicles sales by 2022.

Critics have raised doubts over the safety of fuel cell cars, arguing the hydrogen tanks make them more explosive in accident situations.

Addressing such concerns, Hyundai said multiple shooting and explosion tests of hydrogen tanks as well as collision tests with hydrogen valves have been conducted to ensure a top level of safety.

The company vowed to increase hydrogen chargers, first by opening its chargers used for research to the public.

Expanding the number of hydrogen chargers here -- just 12 stations as of last year -- is a hurdle the carmaker has to overcome to further promote FCEVs.

The Remote Smart Parking Assist that automatically parks and takes out the car without a driver on board has been installed in Nexo for the first time among Hyundai vehicles, the company said. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (lisakim425@heraldcorp.com)