Introduced in January 2018, the Hyundai Nexo was the Hyundai Motor Group’s technological marvel last decade. While HMG is planning a big wave of BEVs with the E-GMP platform, starting with 3 models in 2021 (Ioniq 5, Kia CV & Genesis JW), it is not losing focus on its standalone FCEV. The company plans a massive upgrade for the Hyundai Nexo, which as per an estimate, took 70 percent of the global FCEV market in 2020.
In October 2020, South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited HMG’s Ulsan plant and interacted on the Hyundai Nexo with company officials. When he asked about the Nexo’s range while touring the production line that builds the powertrain, a company official said that the hydrogen fuel cell electric crossover has three hydrogen tanks and can drive 609 km (378 miles) in one go.
Adding to the employee’s response, Euisun Chung, Chairman, HMG, told the President that the company plans to increase the range of the Nexo remarkably. Below were exactly his words:
I plan to increase it (Hyundai Nexo range) to 800 km (497 miles) in the future.Euisun Chung, Chairman, Hyundai Motor Group, talking to South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the production line of the Hyundai Nexo.
HMG has sold well over 10,000 units of the Hyundai Nexo in South Korea since its launch in March 2018. South Korea is taking to hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle and autonomous driving technologies aggressively. On that, the country’s President said:
By establishing a roadmap for the hydrogen economy and a vision and strategy for future cars, we are moving toward a country with the highest competitiveness in future cars in 2030.Moon Jae-in, President, South Korea
Providing a circa-500-mile range in the new Hyundai Nexo HMG would make a big statement to the world that hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles are undoubtedly the future beyond battery electric vehicles. Increasing the Hyundai Nexo range from 378 miles to close 497 miles, which would be almost 500 miles, would mark a whopping 31% improvement.
HMG plans to launch a new Hyundai Nexo in 2022, as per a report from etnews.com. We reckon HMG would bring considerable upgrades during this lifecycle activity, and eventually, the 500-mile Hyundai Nexo would be a reality.
V2L coming to the Hyundai Nexo
The report claims that the new Nexo arriving in 2022 will feature V2L (Vehicle to Load) function. Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai Motor Group’s in-house parts company, has developed this technology, as per the report. “In order to secure advanced technology, we have also secured charging technology using hydrogen fuel cells,” a Hyundai Mobis official said.
V2L allows supplying the power of the vehicle’s energy source (hydrogen fuel cell in this case) to an external device, like a home appliance, for instance. It can be instrumental during disasters and emergencies when there’s a power cut. Toyota offers this feature in its hydrogen FCEV Mirai, launched in an all-new avatar (second generation) in Japan in December last year.
In the U.S., EPA estimates that the Hyundai Nexo has a range of up to 380 miles. The hydrogen SUV has a tank capacity of 41.4 gallons. A compact 1.56 kWh Lithium-ion battery supplies during acceleration and also stores the electricity generated by the regenerative braking system. Using the electricity from the fuel cell stack and the battery, the motor spins the wheels.
500-mile FCEVs are a reality today. In Japan, the 2021 Toyota Mirai FCEV can travel approximately 850 km (WLTC) on a full tank, which converts to 528 miles.