As producers planning to provide vehicles that can fulfill zero emission requirements in states like California, much of them are depending on battery electric vehicles for compliance. Hyundai is no different in that it presented its family of Ioniq compact hatchbacks that offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure EV variants. But it is likewise pursuing fuel cell technology and the 2019 Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) showcases how far that technology has actually come in making hydrogen power a feasible alternative in the ZEV race.
Slated to go on sale during the second half of the year in California only, the Nexo replaces the Hyundai Tucson fuel cell vehicle that formerly was leased to customers on a minimal basis in the state. As a second-generation effort, the Nexo represents a major advance on numerous fronts including performance, range, design and its use as a platform for Hyundai’s self-governing vehicle technology efforts. The only stumbling block to wider distribution of this vehicle nationally is the absence of hydrogen fueling facilities, something that the company views as being resolved with time.
Like the FCEV Tucson, the 2019 Nexo is essentially a compact crossover SUV with 2-row seating for five, a vehicle type that represents a healthy and growing segment of the marketplace. Nevertheless, unlike the Tucson, Nexo has a dedicated platform and its own styling. Riding on a 109.8-inch wheelbase, the Nexo procedures 183.8 inches in general up almost 6 inches in wheelbase and over 10 inches in length over the Tucson. In addition to a roomier plan, the exterior design is clean and modern with a distinct take on Hyundai’s brand-new cascading grille signature. The top of the front fascia is defined by LED running lights, while the primary headlamp clusters are placed on either side of the grille. The sleek style is even more improved by flush exterior door handles and aero-styled alloy wheels.
Inside, the high end interior has a flat, high console with simple to reach buttons and controls for the HVAC and audio system, while 2 screens measuring a combined 12.3 inches are incorporated into the dash design. The right screen in the dash center deals with infotainment and navigation duties, while the left one displays a digital instrument cluster and can likewise reveal a video camera view of the vehicle’s right or left rear blind area when the turn signal is triggered.
The Nexo incorporates a brand-new powertrain that integrates a 95-kW fuel cell stack with a 40-kW battery for a combined output of 135 kW or about 180 horse power. The electrical motor driving the front wheels is ranked at 160 horsepower and offers 290 lb-ft of torque. Hydrogen compressed to 10,000 psi is fed to the fuel cell to develop the electrical power to run the motor and shop additional power in the battery. The Nexo can accelerate to 62 miles per hour in 9.2 seconds, a significant enhancement over the hydrogen-fueled Tucson’s 12.4 seconds. In addition to that performance, Hyundai says the Nexo can travel about 370 miles in between hydrogen refueling which the 52.2-liter tank system can be completed in about 5 minutes.
The drivability is what you anticipate from an electric. Power delivery is instant, smooth and quiet. Attention to sound insulation pays big dividends in the Nexo. Among the significant noises from fuel cell vehicles are compressors and cooling fans, however, Hyundai has for the most part damped these sounds out. At speed, you hear a wisp of wind noise from the outdoors rearview mirrors and a minor hum from tire sound.
The EV nature of the Nexo shines on preliminary throttle pointer in and in mid-range passing maneuvers where the power comes on quickly and effortlessly. The majority of our driving was on freeways, so there is little bit we might discern on the vehicles general handling, however, the flight is comfy and well-damped and the underfloor storage of the 3 gas cylinders and low installing of the electric motor on the front axle with the fuel cell on the top mean a low center of gravity and well-planted feel. The electrical boost to the power steering offers it a light touch, though it doesn’t interact a sharp on-center feel.
The 2019 Hyundai Nexo is not just being touted for its big suite of chauffeur assists, it is likewise being used as a platform for the Korean vehicle maker’s foray into autonomous driving. On the chauffeur assist front, the Nexo boasts Highway Driving Assist (HDA) and Lane Following Assist (LFA), the previous handling adaptive cruise control functions and the latter, active steering to keep the vehicle centered on lane. Hyundai thinks the mix of the 2 minimizes chauffeur tension by having the ability to preserve lane discipline and vehicle distance with minimal chauffeur input.
The Nexo is likewise equipped with Hyundai SmartSense, which includes forward accident caution, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane keep help, automated high beams, motorist attention caution and blind-spot and cross-traffic notifies. Hyundai likewise uses a remote parking help feature that can be used to automatically park in parallel and perpendicular areas and in some markets, will consist of a remote feature where the vehicle will park itself and return when summoned.
Hyundai has likewise geared up 3 Nexo models with Level 4 autonomous drive technology, which requires no driver intervention. These vehicles likewise maintain their wheel and pedals and can be driven traditionally. These self-governing Nexo models were used in a presentation run during the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang where they actually drove themselves nearly 120 miles from Seoul to the place.
While the 2019 Hyundai Nexo models offered in the California market this year will not have self-governing ability, all the other features of the vehicle consisting of the HDA and LFA systems will be provided on the vehicle. Pricing for the Nexo will be announced better to its on-sale date.