Euro NCAP Award 5 Stars To First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Ever Tested

OCT 26 2018 BY MARK KANE 14

Nothing exploded.

The Euro NCAP performed its first-ever crash tests of a hydrogen fuel cell model, which happened to be the Hyundai NEXO.

Results are pretty encouraging as the hydrogen tanks survived the crashes and overall results are 5 stars due to outstanding passenger protection.

Matthew Avery, Director of Research, Thatcham Research comments:

“The Hyundai NEXO is the first hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle that Euro NCAP has tested. Its five-star safety rating should dispel concerns around how hydrogen fuel cell powered cars perform in a crash. With the NEXO, Hyundai have successfully demonstrated that alternative fuelled vehicles need not pose a risk to car safety.”

Hyundai NEXO spec:

  • about 370 miles (595 km)
  • 0-60 mph in 9.5 seconds
  • 120 kW and 395 Nm electric motor
  • fuel cell is able to provide around 95 kW of power, together with 40 kW from the battery, total output of 135 kW is available

Categories: Hyundai

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14 Comments on "Euro NCAP Award 5 Stars To First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Ever Tested"

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Safety of the fuel cell cars is one thing, feasibility of the hydrogen technology is quite another. I hope the fuel cell goes away as it cannot compete with BEVs in terms of energy efficiency and fuel cost.

There is nothing efficient or green in burning fossil fuel in 30-40% efficient power plants, keeping up low efficiency peaker generators (including diesel and oil ones) to balance daily and seasonal supply & demand in the grid. Then loosing part of the energy in transmission lines, transformers, distribution network, charger electronics, Li Ion charging and then discharging process. And then hauling 1200 pound flammable NCA brick around, that requires to dig and process many tons of rock and dirt to produce it in the first place, using nasty chemicals and cheap labor of less advantageous people in the world.

All this to transport one entitled person to the office and back, burning some tires just for fun in the process.

It is marketing hogwash even it has plenty of fanatical and smug believers.

Of course not, we should walk or take the bike instead. But it could be a lot worse, it could be fossil fuels in a combustion engine or even worse hydrogen fuel cells.

Hydrogen is even worse for the environment, but I suppose you could ride a bike.
I won’t, though.

Also, have you heard of Solar / Wind?

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Average efficiency of electricity generation in US natural gas plants was 43.7% in 2017.
It’s been steadily increasing, probably because of the newer CCGT plants that are rapidly replacing coal.

When you add in the increasing amount of wind and solar power as well, overall grid efficiency is improving each year. Can only see that continuing.

I wonder how safe a 10 year old poorly maintained HFCV clunker will turn out to be. Not so much crash safety maybe but just being parked in one’s garage with a large amount of potentially explosive hydrogen stored in a system that hasn’t been inspected and maintained properly for a long time. Can we be sure there will be no nasty surprises as people flick on the light in their garage?

Yes. When they can’t seal giant (H)CFC molecules from escaping the AC system in a car, trying to seal tiny H molecules that runs hundred times the pressure is just plain silly.

But don’t worry. HFCEV cars will be crushed after 3 years of use when the free fuel period runs out. No one in their right mind will pay 5X gasoline to fuel FCEV that performs like a Corolla.

Don’t worry, they come with pre-planned obsolescence printed right on the refueling door! Toyota Mirai for example says “DO NOT REFUEL AFTER 2029/11”.

At least in Europe or Japan, all the vehicles must pass an official checking (in my country from 5 year since first registration, every 2 years until 10 years when it becomes anual). This review analyze safety and enviromental aspects. Safety systems, lights, seatbelts, airbags, fuel leaks, brakes, tyres, suspensions, steering, emissions…. This may keep the safety of those cars in an acceptable grade.

Does USA have something like that, or any car can circulate whetever their status?

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Varies by state. In mine the safety inspection is tires, lights, structure, codes. A quick check of the basics. Adding servicing of the powertrains would add cost.

I want to see footage of a crash test where the hydrogen tank did “not” survive.

I’m not surprised.

The obvious question:
Was the hydrogen tank completly full and ar maximum pressure during the test?
Otherwise the result is invalid.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Don’t know what their rules are, but for gasoline vehicles the NHTSA test procedures use 93% full with a standard test fluid used to test for spillage/leakage. Maybe because full doesn’t mean full for gasoline vehicles.
So, I’d assume they’d use the normal level for a hydrogen fill up, but maybe with a safe substitute like helium.