“2019 Hyundai NEXO Fuel Cell Limited”
The Next-Generation Fuel Cell SUV is Here Now
Late last year, Hyundai introduced its technologically advanced 2019 NEXO fuel cell SUV to U.S. media in Hollywood, California. NEXO is the new technological flagship of Hyundai’s growing eco-vehicle portfolio and marks Hyundai’s continued momentum with the industry’s most diverse SUV powertrain lineup.
NEXO is currently only available in California with a couple of dealers located in the southern end of the state and with one scheduled to open in Northern California.
NEXO heads up Hyundai Motor’s plans in the development of zero-emission vehicles. The Hyundai Motor Group’s plan is to introduce 38 eco-friendly models by 2025, while the Hyundai Motor Company plans to introduce 18 models by 2025. This new development plan represents the next step for the Hyundai Motor Companay toward realizing a cleaner environment by offering advanced eco-friendly vehicles.
It is a well-known fact that Hydrogen energy is the key to building a more sustainable automotive future in our society, as hydrogen is a fuel source that can be manufactured. There are those who will argue that it still takes energy to produce it, but it costs less to produce than refining other fuel sources. Hyundai Motor Company has already taken a lead in hydrogen technology with the introduction of the Tucson fuel cell,” according to Dr. Woong-chul Yang, Vice Chairman, Hyundai Motor Company. “The second-generation NEXO Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle is the culmination of Hyundai’s cutting-edge technologies.”
The NEXO is not only for lease, but also is available for purchase with the market planned to expand to other states as the infrastructure for refueling expands. NEXO comes in two model forms; the 2019 Hyundai NEXO Blue base priced at $59,345; and the 2019 Hyundai NEXO Limited starting at $62,845. Both include a destination fee of $1,045., and both are five-door, two-row, five passenger fuel cell SUVs with only H2O emissions.
The Hyundai NEXO Blue model may be leased for $399 or for $449 for the Limited model for 36 months or my be purchased, with the first year of maintenance free of charge and customers are eligible for a tax credit from the state of California for up to $5,000. (subject to individual tax circumstances). Purchasers of new Hyundai NEXO SUVs will receive hydrogen fueling cards with a combined maximum value of $13,000 to be used during the first three years of vehicle ownership.
Hyundai claims the driving range of the NEXO to be 380 miles, which is more than Toyota’s Mirai, Honda’s Clarity Fuel Cell, or Tesla ‘s longest-range Model S
PLEASING CONVENTIONAL DESIGN
The NEXO is well designed, featuring several aerodynamic styling features, including a D-pillar air tunnel, front wheel air curtains, an aerodynamic wheel design, auto-flush door handles and hidden front wipers, all of which contribute to an overall Cd of 0.32.
Up front, the NEXO leads off with a wide horizontal bar grille flanked by streamlined light effects. while the rear view showcases a low, wide stance.
In profile, the NEXO displays what appears to be a floating roof that tapers aft with well defined wheel arches and abbreviated front and rear overhangs.
The interior is well laid out with simple clean lines and intuitive switchgear.
My test 2019 Hyundai NEXO was in Limited trim with a base price of $61,800 and a final sticker price of $62,845. The exterior was finished in White Pearl metallic, while the interior was done in Grey and Charcoal tones with tan piping. There were no optional equipment charges on my fully loaded test vehicle – only the inland freight and handling fee. No cost equipment included: the fare Advanced Safety Technology Package; Powertrain Technology; and a host of exterior and interior comfort and convenience features.
EMISSION FREE POWER SOURCE
Emission-free energy comes from a 135 kW Fuel Cell: 95kW Fuel Cell Stack /Battery: 40kW, 1.56 KWh Lithium-Ion Polymer system coupled with a 120kW Electric Motor that produces 161 horsepower along with 291 lb.-ft of torque directed to the front wheels via a single-speed automatic transmission with a push button Drive Selector.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
Nexo’s Limited model adds a heated steering wheel, along with heated and ventilated front seats, a Krell premium audio system, a hands-free power rear tailgate, a full-width glass sunroof, larger 19-inch wheels, an Around-View monitor and remote smart parking assist.
In terms of connectivity, the NEXO Limited provides Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. While BlueLink Connected Services and Care may be used to link to entertainment sources.
Blue model NEXOs come with a full suite of active-safety features plus heated seats and 17-inch alloys.
The 2019 Hyundai NEXO Limited is a spacious SUV that delivers a smooth ride along with stability and nimble handling characteristics. In other words, it comes across as a normal SUV with admirable qualities. The estimated 380-mile range is a big plus in eliminating range anxiety, but advance planning for refueling is a must to consider when planning longer excursions.
The remote self park feature is extremely useful in tight parking space scenarios, with or without a driver in the vehicle, and the Blind-spot View Monitor is an industry-first technology, projecting the side views of NEXO in the center cluster using cameras while changing lanes with the turn signal on. Hyundai is the first automaker to provide drivers video footage from both sides of the vehicle with this feature.
Acceleration, while not blistering is certainly more than simply adequate.
Since NEXO is the only mass-produced fuel cell SUV for the U.S. market and since it boasts an estimated range of 354 miles (Limited – 380 miles for Blue), it rates high marks when considering the acquisition of an alternative fuel source vehicle.
NEXO refueling time may be achieved in roughly five minutes. Three separate hydrogen tanks in the rear of the vehicle are used for hydrogen storage, and are configured to maximize overall interior volume in the rear cargo area, increasing it by 5.8 cubic feet over the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell and allowing for a flatter load surface.
The NEXO battery is covered by Hyundai’s industry leading Lifetime Battery Warranty.
FCEV vehicles are the future, and the NEXO is ahead of the curve.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Hyundai NEXO Fuel Cell Limited SUV
Base Price: $61,800.
Price as Tested: $62,845
Engine Type and Size: 135 kW Fuel Cell: 95kW Fuel Cell Stack /Battery: 40kW, 1.56 KWh Lithium-Ion Polymer system.
Electric Motor: 120 kW – electric powertrain
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 291
Transmission: Single-speed automatic with push button Drive Selector.
Drive Train: Front mounted motor / Front-Wheel Drive
Suspension: Front MacPherson strut with gas-type shock absorbers.
Rear – Multi-Link with gas-type shock absorbers.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (Vented front) with ABS and EBD and regenerative braking paddle shifters.
Tires: Michelin Primacy Tour A/S 245/45 R19 98W mounted on 5-sculpted blade patterned spokes- machine face with painted inner alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 109.8 inches
Length Overall: 183.9 inches
Width: 73.2 inches
Height: 64.2 inches
Curb Weight: 3,990 lbs.
Turning Circle: 36.7 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 14 lb. Hydrogen tank capacity in three separate tanks.
EPA Mileage Estimates: Limited – 59 MPGe city / 54 MPGe Hwy / 57 MPGe combined – Range= 354 miles
Blue – 65 MPGe city / 58 MPGe Hwy / 61 MPGe combined – Range= 380 miles (Blue – Limited 354 miles)
Drag Coefficient: 0.32
0 – 60 mph: 9.5 seconds
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.