As makers want to provide vehicles that can meet zero emission requirements in states like California, a lot of them are counting on battery electrical vehicles for compliance. Hyundai is no different in that it introduced its family of Ioniq compact hatchbacks that provide 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 option in the ZEV race.
Slated to go on sale during the second half of the year in California only, the Nexo changes the Hyundai Tucson fuel cell vehicle that previously was rented to customers on a minimal basis in the state. As a second-generation effort, the Nexo represents a major advance on several fronts including efficiency, variety, design 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 views as being dealt with time.
2019 Hyundai Nexo Platform
Like the FCEV Tucson, the 2019 Nexo is essentially a compact crossover SUV with 2-row seating for 5, a vehicle type that represents a healthy and growing segment 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 procedures 183.8 inches overall up almost 6 inches in wheelbase and over 10 inches in length over the Tucson. In addition to a roomier package, the exterior style is clean and contemporary with a special 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 smooth design is further boosted by flush exterior door deals with and aero-styled alloy wheels.
Inside, the upscale interior has a flat, high console with simple to reach buttons and controls for the HVAC and audio system, while two screens determining a combined 12.3 inches are incorporated into the dash design. The right screen in the dash center manages infotainment and navigation responsibilities, while the left one shows a digital instrument cluster and can also reveal a cam view of the vehicle’s right or left rear blind spot 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 horse power. The electric motor driving the front wheels is ranked at 160 horse power and offers 290 lb-ft of torque. Hydrogen compressed to 10,000 psi is fed to the fuel cell to create the electrical power to run the motor and store extra power in the battery. The Nexo can speed up to 62 mph in 9.2 seconds, a significant enhancement over the hydrogen-fueled Tucson’s 12.4 seconds. In addition to that efficiency, Hyundai says the Nexo can take a trip about 370 miles in between hydrogen refueling and that the 52.2-liter tank system can be complemented in about 5 minutes.
The drivability is what you anticipate from an electrical. Power delivery is immediate, smooth and quiet. Focus on sound insulation pays huge dividends in the Nexo. One of the significant noises 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 outside rearview mirrors and a minor hum from tire noise.
The EV nature of the Nexo shines on initial throttle idea 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 bit we might recognize on the vehicles total handling, however, the trip 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 translates to a low center of gravity and well-planted feel. The electric boost to the power steering offers it a light touch, though it does not communicate a sharp on-center feel.
2019 Hyundai Nexo Features
The 2019 Hyundai Nexo is not only being touted for its big suite of driver assists, it is likewise being used as a platform for the Korean vehicle maker’s venture into self-governing driving. On the driver help front, the Nexo boasts Highway Driving Assist (HDA) and Lane Following Assist (LFA), the former handling adaptive cruise control functions and the latter, active guiding to keep the vehicle centered on lane. Hyundai believes the mix of the two minimizes motorist stress by having the ability to maintain lane discipline and vehicle distance with very little chauffeur input.
The Nexo is also equipped with Hyundai SmartSense, which includes forward accident warning, forward collision-avoidance help with pedestrian detection, lane keep help, automatic high beams, motorist attention warning and blind-spot and cross-traffic signals. Hyundai also uses a remote parking help feature that can be used to instantly park in parallel and perpendicular spaces and in some markets, will include a remote feature where the vehicle will park itself and return when summoned.
Hyundai has actually also equipped three Nexo models with Level 4 self-governing drive technology, which requires no chauffeur intervention. These vehicles also maintain their wheel and pedals and can be driven conventionally. These self-governing Nexo models were used in a presentation run during the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang where they literally drove themselves almost 120 miles from Seoul to the location.
2019 Hyundai Nexo Release Date
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 used on the vehicle. Prices for the Nexo will be revealed more detailed to its on-sale date.