Launched in 2018, the Nexo must be seen as a demonstration of the know-how to Hyundai in the field of the fuel cell, a technology that combines the advantages of the propulsion without suffering from the limitations of battery life and recharge time battery-related, since the full hydrogen can be done in a few minutes like gasoline or diesel to a car classic thermal. But this promising technology, that Germany had recently submitted the first plan of the research with a plan helped to 9 billion euros, bute always on the same shelf: a network of hydrogen distribution half-starved because it is very expensive to develop.


Hyundai Nexo © T. Anthony/ACE-Team Hyundai

Hyundai has not developed and then marketed the Nexo to earn money. In any case, not in the short term. It is primarily for the Korean giant, the image of Toyota with the Mirai, Honda’s FCV, or even Mercedes with the GLC FC, prime the pump the car’s hydrogen. In other words, to put enough fuel cell cars on the roads for a network of hydrogen distribution is finally developed. At the present time, less than fifty stations exist in France, of which not more than a dozen accessible to the general public, the others being exploited for the professional needs of the fleet in general captive.

Hyundai Nexo © T. Anthony/ACE-Team Hyundai

there are two only two only in the paris region. And this for good reason : the order of magnitude of the cost of the installation of a station to hydrogen is one million euros, against a few tens of thousands for a fuel pump classic or a terminal of quick charge power.


The Nexo is like the ix35 it replaces, a SUV electric battery is replaced by a fuel cell, producing electricity and water vapor (H 2 O). For this purpose, it is reacted to the oxygen (O2) taken in the ambient air with hydrogen (H2) stored in its tanks. This fuel cell can develop up to 95 kW (130 hp). It is supplemented by a lithium-ion polymer battery with a power of 40 kW and a capacity of 1.56 kWh designed, as a hybrid car, to recover the kinetic energy of the car during deceleration.

Hyundai Nexo © T. Anthony/ACE-Team HyundaiHyundai Nexo © T. Anthony/ACE-Team Hyundai

Result, the synchronous electric motor of the permanent magnet causing the front wheels can grow up to 120 kW (163 hp) as long as the level of charge of the battery allows it – is a few seconds of acceleration, foot to the floor – and then about 120 hp then. The fuel cell is powered by hydrogen contents in 3 reservoirs of carbon fibre, of a cumulative volume of 156,6 liters, can store up to 6.33 kg of hydrogen. What guarantee the Nexo a range of 666 km on the new cycle of registration WLTP.


Hyundai Nexo © T. Anthony/ACE-Team HyundaiL’inside the Nexo is amazing. A bit like on Mercedes recent, the dashboard receives what looks like a very wide digital screen. In fact, in a single plate, polycarbonate, adjoin the view of the instruments ahead of the driver on a diagonal of 7 inches, and that of general information and the navigation system on the 12.3-inch above the center console. The latter appear by contrast a bit outdated with an impressive collection of buttons, which seems straight out of a science-fiction film of the 1980s.

Hyundai Nexo © T. Anthony/ACE-Team Hyundai

The Nexo innovates with an interesting function : its side mirrors are equipped with cameras, whose image appears on the instrument panel when the driver operates the turn signals. The set appears well-constructed but not ranked number-not the quality level that one would expect from a car costing 79.900€. Innovation at a price where the effects of scale have not been achieved.

Of this tariff, and that this model exceeds the threshold of 60.000 euros, above which there are more bonuses green, the State grants a bonus to deduct. As an incentive for cutting-edge innovation, but without a big risk: “in two years, we have sold thirty of Nexo fuel cell, said Damien Rullière, Hyundai France. Essentially, local authorities who already have access to a pump”. Habitability is consistent with what one would expect of a SUV of 4.67 m long and the volume of safe generous at 461 litres.

the VIEW OF The AUTO focus

Hyundai Nexo © T. Anthony/ACE-Team Hyundai

In action, the Nexo suffers from a power to weight ratio high, which strike its acceleration capacities and times. Similarly, the suspension appears perfect, powerful at low speed while leaving the body movements of an amplitude excessive above.

Hyundai Nexo © T. Anthony/ACE-Team Hyundai

But the interest of the Nexo is elsewhere : it demonstrates that it is possible to start today in the market for an electrical car which can be full as quickly as with a car, gasoline or diesel, or a 5-or 6-minutes to 6 kg of hydrogen. The problem is that the technology of the fuel cell that allows this demonstration remains costly, since Hyundai sells the Nexo nearly 80,000 euros and lost likely money on each copy sold. The particular activist who would sign all the same for this technology will be less well off than the Germans, the Belgians, the Danes, well-staffed service stations.

Hyundai Nexo © T. Anthony/ACE-Team Hyundai

Finally, the most skeptical recall that if a hydrogen car emits no toxic gas locally, its CO2 balance of the well to the wheel depends on the mode of production of the hydrogen consumed. When it comes the vapo-réformage of natural gas, as it is predominantly the case today, this assessment is close to that of a hybrid car gasoline electric. Similarly, the energy balance of the hydrogen car is still debatable : even imagining that the hydrogen consumed is produced from renewable energy, for each kWh of this renewable energy source, an electric vehicle hydrogen travels 2 to 3 times less distance than a car electric battery. But of this, the Germans embarked on their extensive program of research on the fuel cell does not have cure. And Hyundai is working with Audi since 2018.

Read also: “Hydrogen : Germany is betting on the kick-after”

Hyundai Nexo © T. Anthony/ACE-Team HyundaiLES MORE
No local pollution
The range of more than 600 km
The full only takes 5 minutes…

… if there is a station
Amortization could be better
price/performance uncompetitive

Under the hood of the Hyundai Nexo :

Engine : synchronous electric permanent magnet
Power : 120 kW (163 hp)
Power supply : fuel cell 95 kW (130 hp) + battery lithium-ion polymer battery of 40 kW (54 hp) of 1.56 kWh capacity
Transmission : to the front wheels to report fixed
Dimensions : 4 670 x 1 860 x 1 630 mm
hydrogen Storage : 156,6 l under 700 bar or 6,33 kg
Safety deposit box : 461, l
Weight : 1 873 kg
0 to 100 km/h : 9,2 s
Speed : 179 km/h
power Consumption : 0.95 kg of hydrogen per 100 km
CO2 : 0 g/km
Price : 79 900 € Website :

See our file : Cars hybrid & electric

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