As makers seek to use vehicles that can meet no emission requirements in states like California, many of them are counting on battery electrical vehicles for compliance. Hyundai is no different because it introduced its household of Ioniq compact hatchbacks that provide hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure EV variants. However it is also 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 practical alternative in the ZEV race.
Slated to go on sale during the second half of the year in California just, the Nexo changes the Hyundai Tucson fuel cell vehicle that previously was leased to consumers on a minimal basis in the state. As a second-generation effort, the Nexo represents a major advance on several fronts consisting of efficiency, range, style and its use as a platform for Hyundai’s autonomous vehicle technology efforts. The only stumbling block to broader distribution of this vehicle nationally is the lack of hydrogen fueling infrastructure, something that the company sees as being attended to over time.
2019 Hyundai Nexo Platform
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 section of the market. Nevertheless, unlike the Tucson, Nexo has a dedicated platform and its own styling. Riding on a 109.8-inch wheelbase, the Nexo steps 183.8 inches overall up nearly 6 inches in wheelbase and over 10 inches in length over the Tucson. In addition to a roomier bundle, the exterior style is clean and contemporary with an unique take on Hyundai’s new cascading grille signature. The top of the front fascia is defined by LED running lights, while the primary headlamp clusters are positioned on either side of the grille. The streamlined style is even more improved by flush exterior door deals with 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 integrated into the dash style. The best screen in the dash center manages infotainment and navigation tasks, while the left one shows a digital instrument cluster and can also show a video camera view of the vehicle’s right or left rear blind area when the turn signal is triggered.
2019 Hyundai Nexo Upgraded Performance
The Nexo includes a 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 horsepower. 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 produce the electricity to run the motor and store extra power in the battery. The Nexo can accelerate to 62 mph in 9.2 seconds, a significant improvement over the hydrogen-fueled Tucson’s 12.4 seconds. In addition to that efficiency, Hyundai says the Nexo can travel about 370 miles in between hydrogen refueling which the 52.2-liter tank system can be topped off in about five minutes.
The drivability is what you expect from an electric. Power delivery is immediate, smooth and peaceful. Focus on sound insulation pays huge dividends in the Nexo. One of the significant sounds from fuel cell vehicles are compressors and cooling fans, nevertheless, Hyundai has for the most part damped these noises out. At speed, you hear a wisp of wind sound from the outdoors rearview mirrors and a small hum from tire sound.
The EV nature of the Nexo shines on initial throttle suggestion in and in mid-range passing maneuvers where the power begins quickly and easily. Most of our driving was on freeways, so there is little we might recognize on the vehicles overall handling, nevertheless, the ride is comfortable and well-damped and the underfloor storage of the 3 gas cylinders and low mounting of the electric motor on the front axle with the fuel cell on the top equate to a low center of gravity and well-planted feel. The electrical boost to the power steering provides it a light touch, though it doesn’t interact a sharp on-center feel.
2019 Hyundai Nexo Features
The 2019 Hyundai Nexo is not just being touted for its big suite of driver helps, it is also being used as a platform for the Korean car maker’s foray into self-governing driving. On the driver help 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 combination of the 2 minimizes motorist tension by being able to maintain lane discipline and vehicle range with very little driver input.
The Nexo is likewise equipped with Hyundai SmartSense, that includes forward crash warning, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, automated high beams, chauffeur attention warning and blind-spot and cross-traffic signals. Hyundai likewise offers a remote parking assist feature that can be used to immediately park in parallel and perpendicular areas and in some markets, will include a remote feature where the vehicle will park itself and return when summoned.
Hyundai has actually also geared up three Nexo models with Level 4 autonomous drive technology, which requires no driver intervention. These vehicles likewise keep their steering wheels and pedals and can be driven traditionally. These autonomous Nexo models were used in a demonstration run during the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang where they literally drove themselves nearly 120 miles from Seoul to the location.
2019 Hyundai Nexo Release Date
While the 2019 Hyundai Nexo models sold in the California market this year will not have autonomous capability, all the other features of the vehicle consisting of the HDA and LFA systems will be offered on the vehicle. Pricing for the Nexo will be announced better to its on-sale date.
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