Robert Llewellyn and the fine fellows over at the entertaining and informative Fully Charged show flew off to South Korea to spend some quality time in the new Hyundai NEXO fuel cell electric vehicle. They were able to tour it around the country before hopping on a Hyundai hydrogen fuel cell electric bus for a quick trip up into the mountains.
The trip went off without a hitch and revealed that Hyundai’s first-generation 2019 NEXO is a more refined, matured version of the Hyundai Santa Fe fuel cell electric vehicle, including an impressive looking array of informative screens that swept in to replace the instrument cluster. The displays are complemented by an autopilot-esque solution that Robert claimed, “worked as well as Tesla’s Autopilot.” That’s an impressive claim from a guy who’s driven just about every electric and high tech car under the sun.
The car also features a next generation blind spot detection system that pulls up the view from a camera mounted under the rear view mirror that provides a nice look right into the vehicle’s blind spot. The navigation system provides not only voice commands, but also indicates the speed limit. That’s a nice option to have, but is something I think I would grow tired of on the way home from the dealership as it’s simply not necessary for most day-to-day driving around my home town.
Much like the new Honda Clarity fuel cell, the interior of the Hyundai NEXO has been configured to give passengers a very normal amount of room in the front and rear of the vehicle. The 3 onboard hydrogen tanks were tucked in under the rear of the vehicle alongside the battery in the vehicle which serves as a buffer between the electricity production coming from the hydrogen fuel cell and the power consumed by the electric motor.
A full fill-up of hydrogen allows for an impressive 370 miles of travel in just a few minutes at the station, though stations are still far and few between. Robert noted that Korea currently boasts 4 or 5 of the stations and estimates that it will need about 100 more stations to support a fully converted nation of fuel cell drivers.
The 2019 Hyundai NEXO will debut in select markets, including California, later this year to give drivers in the handful of locations near enough to a hydrogen fueling station for the vehicle to be useful another option. It’s exciting to see Hyundai pushing forward with its hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in parallel to its work on plug-in hybrids and fully electric options.
The Hyundai Kona Electric, Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Plug-in Hybrid, and Hybrid vehicles are increasingly attractive options for buyers looking to clean up their footprints with cars that are fully functional and flexible today. Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid, and Battery Electric Vehicles provide varying degrees of flexibility and sustainability to suit a variety of lifestyles.
Just as there are challenges with hydrogen vehicles, Hyundai is hitting some issues with battery supply constraining its ability to produce enough of its plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles. This has been shared on forums and social media channels around the world as eager customers push to get their hands on some of these affordable, long range electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles from Hyundai.
To see the Hyundai NEXO in action, have a look at the Fully Charged episode below.