Hydrogen car maker NAMX to use ICE technology for its HUV

NAMX states that as opposed to fuel-cell tech, hydrogen combustion engines do not require the same level of purity of H2 to operate, or rare metals in their construction; collaboration with Pininfarina for the design development of the HUV continues also in this second phase.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 11 Dec 2023 Views icon7389 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

NAMX, the hydrogen automotive company, has chosen to use Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) technology for its inaugural Hydrogen Utility Vehicle (HUV). As per the company, this strategic move underlines its pragmatic approach, combining proven technology with sustainability objectives.

Choosing ICE technology for hydrogen-powered transportation is in line with market-leading approaches taken by automotive giants. Alongside established firms, NAMX is banking on a proven and time-tested technology that has benefited from decades of investment and continuous enhancements.

In addition, Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine vehicles (HICE) do not face the main drawbacks of Fuel-Cell electric vehicles (FCEV), which rely on rare earth metals. Internal Combustion Engines ensure greater stability and predictability when it comes to production costs, shielding the company and its customers from the price fluctuations associated with the supply of rare minerals. Hydrogen combustion engines also boast higher robustness and versatility compared to fuel cells, as they eliminate the need for high-purity H2, which entails regular replacement of air and hydrogen filters and can accommodate lower-quality, cheaper hydrogen. These distinctive features position Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine vehicles as a sustainable, cost-effective, and functional choice throughout their lifecycle.

The decision to opt for a conventional engine allows NAMX to leverage the existing and wide-ranging automotive repair and maintenance network, with easy and cheap access to spare parts. This ensures a longer and more cost-effective lifecycle for NAMX vehicles compared to its electric counterparts. Consequently, the life-time value of the HUV is considerably expanded for each stakeholder involved.

Faouzi Annajah, NAMX's founder and CEO, stated: "This industrial choice hastens NAMX's development and reinforces our ability to reach a broader market. The adoption of ICE motorization for the HUV is based on a clear rationale: resorting to a proven, reliable, and cost-effective technology, shaping new horizons for sustainable mobility."

Partnership with Pininfarina continues

The collaboration initiated with Pininfarina in 2022 for the development of the design of the HUV continues also in this phase of NAMX approaching the market. NAMX in collaboration with Pininfarina reworked the design of the inaugural HUV concept to integrate a new aerodynamic rear bumper and diffuser with a hydrogen combustion exhaust system – the ‘Exo’.

Pininfarina, which has looked carefully at hydrogen for the last 15 years by investing in studies and prototypes in collaboration with start-ups that are fully committed to these new technologies, won the 2023 Green Good Design Sustainability Award from The Chicago Athenaeum for the NAMX HUV.

Following its debut at Pininfarina’s headquarters in Cambiano, Italy, NAMX has showcased the prototype of its hydrogen-fueled SUV at the Berlin GreenTech Festival 2022, Paris Motor Show 2022, and Goodwood Festival of Speed 2023. NAMX has now completed the prototype validation for its HUV and entered the industrial development phase.

Faouzi Annajah added: "Our choice of Hydrogen ICE technology is a significant leap forward in both design and engineering. We now look forward to introducing in the coming 12 months our HUV rolling prototype equipped with a V8 hydrogen combustion engine developed and manufactured by Solution F, a subsidiary of group GCK.”

Pininfarina-designed Namx HUV with swappable hydrogen tanks wins Green Good Design Sustainability award

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