Hyundai today delivered its first NEXO fuel cell SUV to Tom Hochrad of Ventura, California. He picked up his new SUV at Keyes Hyundai in Van Nuys to become the first U.S. customer to drive off in the new NEXO, said to be the only mass-produced fuel cell SUV for the U.S. market. It has a range of up to 380 miles. NEXO is the new technological flagship of Hyundai’s eco-vehicle portfolio. (See AutoInformed on Test Drive – 2016 Hyundai Tucson Gen Three)
Mr. Hochrad isn’t the typical automotive buyer. More than 15 years ago, he purchased his first hybrid car and over the years has driven dedicated electric vehicles as well. His new NEXO will deliver about five times the driving range of his first unnamed all-electric car.
NEXO can be leased for $399 (Blue model) or $449 (Limited model) for 36 months and can be purchased for $58,300. The first year of maintenance is free of charge and customers are eligible for a taxpayer subsidized credit (subject to individual tax circumstances) from the state of California for up to $5,000. 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.
NEXO has several driver assist systems, including Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Following Assist, Driver Attention Warning, High Beam Assist and Remote Smart Parking Assist that enables NEXO to either autonomously park or retrieve itself from either a parallel or perpendicular parking space with or without a driver in the vehicle.
Hyundai’s Blind-spot View Monitor is claimed to be an industry-first technology that projects the side views of NEXO in the center cluster to the driver using cameras while changing lanes with the turn signal on. These monitor areas that cannot be seen by a traditional rearview mirror.
The NEXO Blue model has an estimated range of 380 miles, 115 more than the Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle. The NEXO Limited Trim has an estimated range of 354 miles. NEXO Blue models have estimated MPGe of 65 city, 58 highway and 61 combined, while Limited models have an estimated range of MPGe of 59 city, 54 highway and 57 combined.
NEXO refueling time can be achieved in as little as five minutes, roughly comparable a gasoline-powered SUV in terms of range and refueling speed.
It uses several ecological materials in its construction, including soybean-oil based polyurethane paint, bamboo-thread-based bio fabric, along with bio-plastic and bio-carpet extracted from sugar cane. Bio-based materials were applied to 47 different parts and reduced CO2 emissions by 26 lbs. during the manufacturing process.
NEXO v Tucson Fuel Cell
Not only is Hyundai’s NEXO fuel cell vehicle built with a dedicated vehicle architecture, it is vastly improved over the Tucson Fuel Cell it has replaced. (AutoInformed has not driven the NEXO.) On press release paper it is quicker, roomier, more efficient and better packaged, offering 40% more range. (See AutoInformed on Test Drive – 2016 Hyundai Tucson Gen Three)
The Tucson Fuel Cell launched four-and-a-half years ago, has customers who have run almost 6.9 million high-mileage miles on America’s roads, with refueling times that mirror gasoline vehicles.
Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai has a product lineup of cars, SUVs and alternative-powered electric and fuel cell vehicles. They are sold and serviced through more than 830 dealerships nationwide and the majority sold in the U.S. are built at U.S. manufacturing facilities, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. Hyundai Motor America is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, and is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea.