As manufacturers seek to use vehicles that can meet zero emission requirements in states like California, a number of them are counting on battery electric vehicles for compliance. Hyundai is no different in that it presented its family of Ioniq compact hatchbacks that provide hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure EV variants. But it is also pursuing fuel cell technology and the 2019 Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) showcases how far that technology has been available in making hydrogen power a viable alternative in the ZEV race.
Slated to go on sale throughout the second half of the year in California just, the Nexo replaces the Hyundai Tucson fuel cell vehicle that formerly was rented to consumers on a restricted basis in the state. As a second-generation effort, the Nexo represents a major advance on several fronts consisting of efficiency, range, design and its use as a platform for Hyundai’s self-governing vehicle technology efforts. The only stumbling block to larger circulation of this vehicle nationally is the lack of hydrogen fueling facilities, something that the company views as being resolved with 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 marketplace. However, unlike the Tucson, Nexo has a dedicated platform and its own styling. Riding on a 109.8-inch wheelbase, the Nexo measures 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 package, the exterior design 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 smooth style is even more enhanced by flush exterior door manages and aero-styled alloy wheels.
Inside, the upscale interior has a flat, high console with easy to reach buttons and controls for the HVAC and audio system, while two screens determining a combined 12.3 inches are integrated into the dash style. The right screen in the dash center handles 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 integrates a new powertrain that combines 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 supplies 290 lb-ft of torque. Hydrogen compressed to 10,000 psi is fed to the fuel cell to develop the electrical energy to run the motor and store additional 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 between hydrogen refueling which the 52.2-liter tank system can be complemented in about five minutes.
The drivability is exactly what you get out of an electric. Power shipment is immediate, smooth and quiet. Focus on sound insulation pays huge dividends in the Nexo. Among the major noises from fuel cell vehicles are compressors and cooling fans, however, Hyundai has for one of the most part damped these sounds out. At speed, you hear a wisp of wind sound from the outdoors rearview mirrors and a small hum from tire noise.
The EV nature of the Nexo shines on preliminary throttle suggestion in and in mid-range passing maneuvers where the power comes on rapidly and effortlessly. The majority of our driving was on highways, so there is little we could discern on the vehicles overall handling, however, the trip is comfy and well-damped and the underfloor storage of the three gas cylinders and low installing of the electrical motor on the front axle with the fuel cell on top equate to a low center of gravity and well-planted feel. The electric increase 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 promoted for its large suite of driver assists, it is likewise being used as a platform for the Korean automobile maker’s foray into autonomous driving. On the motorist assist front, the Nexo boasts Highway Driving Assist (HDA) and Lane Following Assist (LFA), the former handling adaptive cruise control functions and the latter, active steering to keep the vehicle centered on lane. Hyundai believes the combination of the 2 lowers driver tension by being able to keep lane discipline and vehicle distance with minimal driver input.
The Nexo is also geared up with Hyundai SmartSense, that includes forward accident warning, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, automated high beams, chauffeur attention caution and blind-spot and cross-traffic notifies. Hyundai likewise offers a remote parking assist feature that can be utilized to instantly 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 equipped three Nexo models with Level 4 self-governing drive technology, which requires no driver intervention. These vehicles also keep their steering wheels 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 almost 120 miles from Seoul to the place.
2019 Hyundai Nexo Release Date
While the 2019 Hyundai Nexo models offered in the California market this year will not have self-governing capability, all the other features of the vehicle including the HDA and LFA systems will be provided on the vehicle. Rates for the Nexo will be revealed better to its on-sale date.