The fuel cell vehicle market share is a fraction of overall EV sales, but Hyundai’s SUV dominates that niche. As per SNE Research (via Chosun.com), a South Korean research and consulting firm that closely tracks the performance of domestic brands in the world market, the Hyundai Nexo has secured 69 per cent share of the global hydrogen car market in 2020.
SNE Research says Hyundai Nexo sales were at around 6,500 units last year, a 35.3% jump over 2019 (4,800 cars). Sales of hydrogen vehicles worldwide last year decreased by 11.3% compared to the previous year to 9,000 units. SNE notes that the sales volume of Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity decreased significantly due to the vehicles’ age and reduced subsidy in China, which is the world’s second-largest market, causing the size to contract.
Toyota sold 1,600 units last year, down 33.2% from the previous year, and Honda’s hydrogen car sales decreased by 33.8% to just 200 units, SNE’s data shows. With the new Mirai now in showrooms, global hydrogen car sales are expected to exceed 10,000 units in 2021.
2021 Hyundai Nexo hits the S.Korean market
In January this year, the Hyundai Nexo received its first upgrade since the launch in March 2018. The new Nexo offers more convenience and safety, and it is cheaper than the old model.
The Nexo turned three years in January, and it was expected to get a facelift this year. However, that’s not what the 2021 Hyundai Nexo is. It carries forward the original design, but the improvements are noteworthy.
The 2021 Hyundai Nexo has a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster instead of the old model’s 8-inch unit. The wider display enhances driver visibility and brings the viewing experience closer to the latest industry standard. The new digital instrument cluster applies different color graphics for each drive mode (Normal/Eco/Eco+). The infotainment system is an updated unit that offers OTA update support for the navigation data.
Also new in the 2021 Hyundai Nexo is a water discharge function. There’s a new device that allows the driver to discharge the water from the exhaust. This way, the driver can ensure no waterlogging, leaving no chance of the stack-generated liquid byproduct freezing up during winter.
The 2021 Hyundai Nexo is a wee bit safer, too. The driver-side window and the front-passenger-side window now have an anti-pinch feature. Lastly, the new Nexo has improved voice recognition that allows controlling more functions, such as the seat/steering wheel/ORVM heating. Expect the new Nexo to reach the USA as an MY2022 model.
Nexo monthly sales cross 1,000 units the first time
In South Korea, the new Hyundai Nexo is up to KRW 1.25 million (about USD 1,100) cheaper. Prices start at KRW 67.65 million, which converts to approximately USD 60,000. Sales of the Nexo are rising in the brand’s home market in 2021, with 142 units sold in January, 568 units in February, 934 units in March, and 1,265 units in April. April was the first time when the monthly sales eclipsed 1,000 units.
New world record for the longest distance on a single tank
Hyundai is developing a next-generation Nexo with a far higher range expected to hit the market by mid-decade. The company is making strides with the current-gen model three years after its release as well. In one such instance, a team from its Australian subsidiary created a new world record for the longest distance traveled by a hydrogen-powered vehicle on a single tank.
Video Source: YouTube/Hyundai Australia
Australian Hyundai rally driver Brendan Reeves drove a stock Nexo from the Essendon Fields in Melbourne to Broken Hill and beyond, covering a distance of 887.5 km (551.5 miles) on a single tank. The previous world record was 778 km (483.4 miles), also achieved in a Nexo by Solar Impulse founder Bertrand in France in 2019. As per EPA estimates, the Hyundai Nexo range in the U.S. is 380 miles in the Blue trim (USD 58,935) and 354 miles in the Limited trim (USD 62,385).
Hyundai invests in hydrogen stations in the U.S.
Hyundai Motor Group plans to invest USD 7.4 billion in the U.S. by 2025 to gear up for the nation’s zero-emission future in the auto sector. While the BEV business may take up most of the investment, a considerable amount may improve the hydrogen ecosystem. In April 2021, the company expanded the availability of the Hyundai Nexo to San Diego County (via Hyundai Escondido).
Featured image: Hyundai Motor