IT&Software

Hyundai's Nexo Previews Fuel Cell Future

Hyundai's Nexo Previews Fuel Cell Future

As these are still comparatively early days on the steep part of the fuel-cell-technology learning curve, the as-yet unnamed new FCEV represents a fairly major leap in terms of performance and capability.

The latest model can drive almost 600 kilometers per charge, a 40 percent increase from its predecessor, therefore making it the most efficient fuel cell auto, according to Lee Ki-sang, senior vice president of Hyundai Motor, who leads the company's eco-friendly vehicle programs, at the carmaker's press conference in Las Vegas. According to the automaker, this new model will spearhead Hyundai Motor's plans to introduce 18 eco-friendly models to global markets by 2025. Sibling brand Kia will share the underlying fuel-cell system for a new model of its own before the end of the decade.

Thanks to the upgraded powertrain, the Hyundai Nexo covers the 0-60 miles per hour (0-96 km/h) sprint in 9.5 seconds, making it 3 seconds quicker than the Tucson Fuel Cell.

Unlike its predecessor, the Nexo is built on a dedicated vehicle architecture that brings benefits such as a lighter weight, improved power-to-weight ratio, as well as more cabin space thanks to the relocation of the battery to the trunk. To introduce Hyundai's new partnership with Aurora, Yang invited Aurora's CEO on stage to praise the possibilities of autonomous driving tech. The Nexo charging stations promise a five-minute charge.

Hyundai officials were cautious about revealing specific details of the Nexo powertrain, though they did note it produces about 120 kilowatts of power, the equivalent of 161 horsepower.

That current also can be used to power the energy-hungry sensors and computer processors needed to operate a vehicle autonomously.

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Hyundai also took this opportunity to display some of its latest driver assistance technology on the Nexo, with an industry-first blind-spot view monitor offering side camera angles of the vehicle.

Additionally, the NEXO is the first Hyundai to boast semi-autonomous driving features.

NEXO also offers Lane Following Assist which automatically adjusts steering to help keep NEXO centred in its lane of travel.

The new crossover-utility vehicle also boasts Remote Smart Parking Assist that lets Nexo autonomously park or retrieve itself from a garage or parking space with or without a driver in the auto. This tech will drive the auto to and from its parking spot all by itself, at the push of a button.

Nexo came only seven years after Hyundai launched its first green auto, the Sonata Hybrid in the USA in 2011.

Back to the SUV from Hyundai, the design of the vehicle has left us confused because it looks like a Citroen but with the face of a Kona.


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