Despite not being as widespread and easily accessible as battery electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell models are slowly gaining traction.
By using a hydrogen-fuelled motor to power its electric powertrain, the Hyundai Nexo is one such vehicle and with it comes a quoted 414-mile range on the WLTP cycle – with water being the only product from the exhaust.
But what else does the Nexo have to offer to make it a real rival to other electric cars currently on sale?let m
Helps clean the air around it
Not only does the Nexo only emit water, Hyundai has fitted the SUV-style model with air filtration and purification systems to clean the air that passes through its front grille. With the complex system on-board, the Nexo purifies 99.9 per cent of all toxins and particles in the air – making it one of the most helpful vehicles for the environment.
Following a month-long experiment around London, one of the most polluted cities in the world, it was found that the Nexo cleaned more than 900kg of air – enough for 1,455 adults to breathe in one hour. Imagine then, if multiple people bought a Nexo and the amount of air that could be cleaned, as well as replacing higher-polluting vehicles?
Autonomous driving features
To make this car even more ahead of its time, Hyundai has given the Nexo level four autonomous technology – with UK-spec models likely to feature it at some point. The stand-out feature is the Remote Smart Parking Assist, which can park the car with or without a driver on-board and is made to get the car into really tight spaces. With the press of a button, the car can drive itself into a parallel or perpendicular space on its own.
That feature is joined by the tandem of lane following assist and highway driving assist, which can reduce the strain on drivers over long distance by controlling the speed from 0mph to 90mph, as well as adjusting steering to keep you in the centre of your lane in both urban and motorway situations. A series of safety systems are also available to keep you on the straight and narrow – with Euro NCAP giving the Nexo a five-star safety rating.
To prove how reliable the safety systems on the Nexo are, Hyundai performed a 118-mile autonomous test between the South Korean cities of Seoul and Pyeongchang – with the Nexo able to overtake, perform lane changes and move with the flow of traffic all on its own at speeds up to 68mph.See Available Hyundai deals
To match the forward-looking powertrain and safety features, the Nexo also comes with an impressive interior layout that features a 12.3-inch touchscreen and a seven-inch display that are merged into the same unit. The central touchscreen displays the media and navigation, while the second displays the instruments behind the steering wheel – which can be altered to show what the driver finds most important. Voice recognition, Bluetooth and a Krell surround sound system are also fitted.
But for the Nexo to make sense here in the UK, drivers need to be close to one of only 16 hydrogen filling stations currently built here – many of which are in or around London. If you live near a hydrogen station and if you can afford the estimated sale price of £60,000, then the Nexo will be a model that you should be looking at.
It’s safe to say that hydrogen vehicle infrastructure still has a way to go, but with investment in the technology likely as a way of getting people out of traditionally-fuelled cars by 2040, hydrogen FCEVs could become more popular in the next two decades.