Hyundai bets big on ‘Nexo’ PHEV

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 22 Feb 2018

Hyundai Motors which showcased its fuel cell SUV its technological flagship ‘Nexo’ at the recently held CES 2018, will go on sale next month in the Korean market. The company is optimistic on the SUV to spearhead its plan to accelerate development of low emission vehicles and is in line with its goal of introducing 38 eco-friendly models globally by 2025.

The company says the Nexo combines the practicality of an SUV with clean advanced fuel cell technology. It is capable of travelling 609kms (on Korean certificate basis) on a single charge and is among the best of fuel cell-powered vehicles in the world. The vehicle offers the advanced technology available in the market with various advanced driver assistance systems and the strongest powertrain in the segment.

Technology first

Hyundai states that Nexo is its first vehicle with integrated flush door handles. This special handle accomplishes a clean design and improves the airflow.

It says that the Nexo is equipped with the world's first unified three-tank system which despite its small tank size allows for better space usage. Additionally, the wheelbase is increased by 150mm compared to the ix35 fuel cell. This results in the best total interior space of any current fuel cell electric vehicle and creates a fully flat luggage area with a luggage capacity of 839 litres.

The design of the new vehicle is architecture to benefit in many ways: the car is lighter; the battery is relocated to the trunk and the fuel cell system layout is improved. It can achieve a maximum power output of 120kW (163PS) and a torque of 395Nm. It can accelerate from 0 to 100kph in 9.2 seconds and can reach top speed of 179kph.The newly developed vehicle platform integrates three identical tanks with a volume of 52.2litres of hydrogen per tank, resulting in a improved storage density and higher fuel capacity. Despite the higher storage capacity, it takes only five minutes to refuel the vehicle.

The automaker says that the vehicle is designed to handle extreme temperature and environments, and can cold start at -30 degrees Celsius in an industry-leading 30 seconds. It also is equipped with a highly durable membrane electrode catalyst and new drive control technology that gives it durability that is on a par with an internal combustion engine vehicle of at least 10 years and 160,000kms.

Purifying the air

The fuel cell electric vehicles, just like battery-powered electric vehicles, do not emit particulates. A special benefit is that that they also filter and purify the air as they drive. The Nexo reduces fine dust pollution by that of two diesel cars travelling the same distance. Its high-performance air filter can filter micro-particulates smaller than particulate matter PM 2.5 in size. The company claims when the air filters through the Nexo, 99.9 percent of particulates are purified and the instrument cluster displays how much you have contributed toward cleaning the environment around you.

It is also equipped with blind-spot view monitor, lane following assist, highway driving assist and remote smart parking assist.

Hyundai SmartSense

On the safety front the vehicle is equipped with LFA, HDA and RSPA – the three of the nine different ADAS technologies included with the Nexo. It also comes with features the latest Hyundai SmartSense active safety and driving assistance features that complies with the European safety standards: forward collision warning, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist (standard), high beam assist with static low beam assist, driver attention warning (standard), blind-spot collision warning and an optional rear cross-traffic collision warning.

World's first self-driven fuel cell electric vehicle

In early February, a fleet of Hyundai Motor's next-gen fuel cell electric vehicles succeeded in completing a self-driven 190kms journey from Seoul to PyeongChang. The company claims it is the first time in the world that Level 4 autonomous driving had been achieved with fuel cell electric cars. Out of the five Hyundai vehicles which completed the journey, three were based on Hyundai's next-generation fuel cell electric Nexo SUVs and the other two were Genesis G80 autonomous vehicles.

In addition, throughout February, four third-generation safety-amplified fuel cell electric buses will transport passengers in Gangneung and PyeongChang. Each vehicle fitted with a driver state warning (DSW) safety technology - the dashboard camera monitors the driver's facial expressions in real-time - blinking, yawning, and the driver taking their gaze off the road - ahead for a certain length of time are all cues that the driver may be experiencing fatigue and be in danger of driving carelessly.

If detected, alerts are delivered via dashboard messages and through audio cues. DSW can be paired with wearable devices such as smart watches, to alert the driver with additional vibration cues. This will be the first time in Korea such technology will be deployed in public transport.

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