Fully Charged Tries Out Hyundai NEXO Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

SEP 11 2018 BY MARK KANE 86

Hyundai believes in hydrogen fuel cell cars.

In the latest episode of Fully Charged, Robert Llewellyn tests the second-generation hydrogen fuel cell model from Hyundai – the NEXO – in South Korea.

Hyundai makes excellent plug-in cars like the IONIQ and the most recent Kona Electric, but the company backs its alternative powertrain approach with FCVs too.

The NEXO can go up to 600 km (373 miles) on a single tank of hydrogen and, as it turns out in the video, it clears the air from emissions too.

  • 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

By the way, the Fully Charged team rides in Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell bus too.

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86 Comments on "Fully Charged Tries Out Hyundai NEXO Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car"

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A bit confused as to why there are windmills in the background and not nat gas extraction equipment.

Would you prefer a picture of the Hindenburg crashing into its mooring post?

They need to Photoshop in twice as many windmills if they want it to fuel it with H2 from electrolysis to have it drive the same distance as an EV charged on those windmills in the original picture.

Reform renewable methane.

Find enough really sustainable sources of methane to actually cover a significant portion of transportation needs.

Or even 4 times?

Yeah, but if you follow the pricing on windmill tarrifs, you will see that (in Denmark for example) when the wind is at peak steady speed (ideal for energy production) – they’re paid very little for the electricity.
Smaller (older) windmills can not produce electricity at that low price, and have to shut the windmill down.

The way it is now, windmills are removed due to high cost of maintenance, and low income. New larger mills is more efficient.

If they used the excess power to produce H2 gas, it would not go to waste. There would of course be steps taken, and energy will be lost in each step – but insted of stopping the windmill, they can producec H2 gas, and make a profit.

There is no need to waste energy, or stop production. Use the energy to produce H2 gas to fuel buses, trucks and maybe some cars as well.

Some info about hydrogen production from renewable energy: http://nelhydrogen.com/about/

That sound fine in theory — until you check the prices of electrolysis cells, and realise that even with free “surplus” electricity, hydrogen made this way is *still* not competitive.

Would you prefer sky reaching piles batteries instead? Or dead earth landscape left after cobalt and lithium mining? Or a bunch of huge “Dear Leader E.M. shows as path to the bright future” banners?

Was that the opening scene of Terminator 2?….i can’t tell where you took it from but you sure have traces of imagination.

Lithium mining is actually quite beautiful. Shallow serene pools slowly evaporating… An array of colors glimmering in the sun.

Cobalt mining? Now that’s another story.

This video looked more like payed advertising than a real review of a car/technology.

everything he does is Paid advertising …It’s all brilliant “BS” Give Him A POS to Talk about & it become “BRILLIANT BS” …He Is Bought & owned By whomever Pays Him…He Is SO Full Of SH!T ! ! ….I am Beginning to Lose all Respect for this Sellout Guy !

That might be true now, but if so, he should not ask for money on Patreon like he does.

I hope these come with a electrolysis device too.

Then you need to add a massive solar and windpower system to your house, or pay a “cheap” electricity bill.
Efficient electrolysers are large, and require a lot of energy..
But I’m sure they could set you in contact with the right people.
Read: http://nelhydrogen.com/assets/uploads/2017/01/Nel_Electrolyser_brochure.pdf

I have a MUCH smaller electrolyser from PEAK scientific at home, that generates hydrogen gas – for what I currently need it to. Runs of solar power from the garage roof. The pressure is only 5-6 bar.
It’s a small 30kg unit that is the same size as a small table top copier.. probably 45cm deep and 35-40 cm wide.
To be able to use the hydrogen this produce in a car, you will need a compressor unit as well. Probably fairly expensive..

Thank you for attaching the link to nelhydrogen.

I wonder what kind of a forumer would thumb-down a thank-you note 🙂

What’s the efficiency of this monster? Coudn’t find it on the link you sent.

I don’t think this is the way.
The range is far from exciting, the system is extremely bulky and complex, it needs a normal battery, the power is limited.
Speed of charging can be great but infrastructure is probably more expensive and as it is now very small.

While this tech for sure is going to improve, also batteries, that are easy to charge and can even be done at home in many cases.

I do not think anyone envisages a FCEV without a large battery. Without a large battery, you can’t harvest the energy of deceleration or going downhill. Essentially, all FCEV’s are hybrids in this sense.

Interestingly, some of the caviling that is being leveled at FCEV’s is a carbon copy of what ICE-heads would say about BEV’s, and objectively it is not false.

Drawing parallels doesn’t mean prove they have to be true in both cases or false in both cases. The truth is that economies are very different, and things that are minor concerns in one case can be prohibitive in the other.

Gosh, I’m sure that absolutely dozens of people will jump at the chance to buy a car which takes fuel which can only be bought at a very few spots, at about twice the cost of gasoline per mile when the auto maker’s “free fuel” deal runs out. How much better than a car which you can conveniently and cheaply recharge at home any time you like!

Oh, wait…


The plan is to have 310 H2 refueling stations in Korea by 2022. Europe will have 100 by next year. California has 35 with 29 more in development.

Remember that electric cars were in an advanced state of development once before, around the turn of the century, but were beaten by gasoline cars primarily because of range and convenience–not cost or ease of charging at home.

Dude, you can find pictures of George W. Bush filling up a hydrogen fuel cell car. Fuel cells have been known for 100 years now. It’s not that they haven’t had time or a chance. The numbers just don’t work.

Fuel cells have been around as a concept for 170-180 years, and as a working piece of equipment for maybe 60-65 years – used mainly in space exploration. Neither of these figures is “100 years” … just to be accurate.

The FC tech hadn’t developed as fast as let’s say electronics in the second half of the 2oth century, because there was no market demand – the world was just fine with hydrocarbons. For the same reason EV’s, being as old as ICE cars, had not been used for daily used by the US general public the between the Detroit Electric and the Nissan Leaf.

George W. Bush may have filled up a hydrogen car, but it was during Obama’s era that the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell day was established:


A branch of the ev evolutionary tree that will not flower, and eventually it will wither and die.

Only time will tell.

The quality of the interior is just top notch, I loved the screen, that infortainment system looked nice.

Hydrogen fool cell cars, IMO, will never be viable… It used to have 2 advantages, but now, both are gone. 370 mile range sounds good, until you realize, pure EV, is already biting at it’s heels, Tesla Model S 100D has 335 mile range(and better performance), Model 3 LR has 310 mile range(still better performance). Someone has already shoehorned a 100kWh battery into a BMW i3 and got 435 miles of range, and probably still has better performance. Other EV’s are rapidly catching up, with multiple models coming out within the next 6 months, with more than 220 miles of range. Fueling time is a non-issue for EV’s, at least 95% of the time. Since just by having a charger or dryer plug installed at home, anything within a 155 mile radius is accessible. When public fast charging is needed(on long road trips for example), there is already the Supercharger network, which delivers 575 miles of range per hour of charging(on a Model 3 LR), so to gain another 155 miles of charge, you only need 16 minutes at a Supercharger. While at the Supercharger, you get to use the restroom, stretch your legs to avoid blood clots and swelling,… Read more »

They still have 1 advantage….you can refuel a fuel cell car with 300+ miles of range in 10 minutes or so. That’s it. EVs might be able to do that eventually but they can’t now and even if they could, there is no infrastructure for it (of course there is no hydrogen infrastructure either).

That one single advantage is just not enough though.

Yeah, 300 miles in 10 minutes is great, except if there is only 37 fueling stations in your entire country(which in and of itself is not the issue, the issue is when they are all only in one small region of a very large country).

But right now, the only alternative fuel with enough infrastructure to be practical for a large population at this moment in time, is electricity. Right now, there are enough charging stations to travel almost anywhere in the United States. Really, all that we need now for EV’s is a few 150kW/350kW stations(8 stalls each) along high-traffic corridors, and then a bunch of 62.5kW chargers done in Tesla style(where you have 40 stalls in one location), along high-traffic corridors.

For those of us who cannot wait for the infrastructure to develop enough, there is a wide selection of PHEV’s.

Electric charging is only easy for bleeding edge enthusiasts, that is why they want it and are enthusiastic about it.

Once you have task of mass market deployment and conversion of whole economy to renewables, it doesn’t look easy at all. Neither it is cheaper, not even charging network for cars at large scale. That is why big corporations tend to have different preferences. Their task isn’t to make few enthusiasts happy.

Only easy for bleeding edge enthusiasts? Actually, it is easy for anyone that sleeps. Do you not sleep?

Trolls never sleep…I thought everyone knew that…

You must be an expert speaking from personal experience, I’m not familiar with troll’s way life 😉

Hundreds of miles from the nearest infrastructure using a large tanker.

Probably not sensible for your average city car, but may be a good option for other vehicles.

Actually, it takes only 4 to 5 minutes to refuel a HFCV.

I’m amazed that Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota are still pouring money into this dead technology path.

Well, they clearly don’t think it’s dead.

It will come in buses, trucks, special vehicles and some cars as well.
Some huge contracts have beens signed for hydrogen stations too.

Yeah, I can see it making sense for heavy-duty long haul vehicles traveling on certain fixed corridors. But passenger cars? Meh.

It won’t come in buses or trucks, except in some heavily subsidised demonstration projects. No commercial operator would be willing to pay the enormous costs — much higher than with traditionally fuelled vehicles — when they can chose an equally viable technology, that is actually cheaper than traditional fuels.

My take is that the EV transition is like the transition from steam locomotives to diesel-electric, or from battleships to aircraft carriers. Within every large organization, there are visionaries, and there is a powerful old guard that rose through the ranks with the old technology. There was a faction in the Imperial Japanese Navy that grasped the potential of aircraft carriers — see Pearl Harbor. But there was also an old guard the believed in battleships, and pushed through the Yamato and Musashi. I think Honda and Toyota are currently being run by the battleship faction.

Not sure a comparison to diesel-electric locomotives is very relevant — but I love the battleship vs. aircraft carrier one 🙂

What may look a “dead path” to you, is an expected set of challenges and setbacks for scientists, inventors and engineers who work on the FCEV R&D.

Developing new tech is hard; otherwise anyone could come up with a blockbuster drug or a new airliner.

It looks like a dead path to me BECAUSE I am an engineer. There’s always varying opinions. But the market is making it clearer every day. BTW, Tesla and Elon Musk did seriously look into this before deciding against it. They seem to be doing pretty well.

Well, looks like Robert L. is completely sold on this. I’d like to see a cost analysis of getting the 15,000 PSI Hydrogen out of the dispensary (to make refueling times reasonable). Agree with others that this seems like a Commercial.

I think it will ultimately boil down to (no pun intended) the ultimate cost of the entire system. Right now I see battery powered cars (with or without a gasoline backup) as being the most cost-effective solution for ‘new energy’ cars.

Haven’t seen anything to make me think H2 is going to be able to beat the low-cost of BEVs or PHEVs in any reasonable time frame.

Not ultimate cost – ultimate practicality. Something more practical can be worth the extra cost, especially for businesses.

There are lots of niches where cost is far less of an issue than practicality. Long distance hauling, long distance driving, working in remote areas are just three examples. In those instances electricity can become less practical and create more cost than the more expensive (up front) hydrogen. That is until someone invents solar panels with 10x the efficiency, or batteries with 10x the capacity for the same weight.

No, minor gains in practicality do *not* offset several times higher costs. And for the very very few niche uses where batteries might not become practicable in the foreseeable future, creating an entirely new parallel infrastructure is just not worth it. (Instead of just sticking with established fuels, possibly in combination with a non-hydrogen fuel cell.)

As usual, I’ll add that there might perhaps be valid uses outside of land transport.

Minor? Being able to transport 10x more energy in a single vehicle (per weight) is more than minor. This debate has been had many times on here, but suffice to say solar would not cut it the instances suggested above (unless you can set up acres of solar for a week or two, then take it down and transport it elsewhere in a day or two). Parallel infrastructure would not be needed, because much of the infrastructure would be portable, not permanent. Remember, when considering cost it’s not just the fuel that costs – differences in range may require extra vehicles and drivers, different routes, more infrastructure being built – all need to be included into cost calculations. This is why many businesses don’t just go with the option that many consumers would. Time is money and each individual industry and business will have a different equation for cost/practicality. But you’re right, hydrocarbons make more “sense”, but then they make more sense for most people right now, and will do for a decade or two, which is why we’ve been using them for so long. If you want to transition away from hydrocarbons then you need something more practical than… Read more »

We are talking about vehicle propulsion, not liquid hydrogen tankers. There is no 10x more energy here, not even close. Currently available hydrogen vehicles rather suggest there is barely any improvement at all. So the only real practically improvement is that refuelling stops can be somewhat easier decoupled from other stops in theory — which I maintain is a very minor issue, which doesn’t even remotely make up for much higher costs in any use case I can think of.

As for your favourite use case of shipping energy ad-hoc to remote locations (which is the only one where the theoretically higher energy density really matters), I still believe it’s way too niche to justify the investments either economically or ecologically. (For the latter, both because it doesn’t change much on a global scale; and because at such small volumes, sustainable bio-fuels — or maybe even synthetic fuels — should indeed be perfectly viable.)

DOE cost analysis is available to read for free if you want to see it. Though it is fast changing technology and such analysis may become obsolete quickly with new generation of technology.

Toyota plans to push next generation (that is ~2020) of FCEV range from current ~500 km to 700+, and 1000 km by 2025, reducing price to match regular hybrid price.

I doubt Li Ion batteries will be able to match it by 2025. Unless some “battery breakthrough of the week” will materialize, but chances of it are quite low. Luxury cars for people with access to electrified parking may be well served by Li Ion batteries by 2025 already. But half of the world population is likely neither get access to electrified parking (except e-bike size “parking”), nor be able to pay unsubsidized big battery cost premium.

LOL….suddenly range is everything. Remember who you are talking too zzzzzzzzz….most here drive ev already and know the range BS is exaggerated. 200 miles and ultra fast charging is all that’s needed. Both are here now.

That is why take rate is 1-2% of the buyers. For 1% these 200 miles plus dreams about ultra fast charging breakthrough batteries is enough to pay 2x price, for 99% it is not.

The Ionic does a pretty good job at charging fast and is not x2 anything. Actually with the gas savings and all is about half of regular model. The hydrogen model on the other hand zzzzzzzzzz……
“For 1% these 200 miles…. ”
Yes, we are all truck drivers constantly going cross continent…next crazy idea, please.

In case you haven’t noticed, the “take rate” is increasing by >40% every year, limited by supply. So by 2025, Toyota wants to make 30,000 hydrogen cars a year… While EVs will be >20,000,000.

And it is fine, less tailpipe emissions. Toyota doesn’t have this “us vs them” mentality of fans. Just like most automakers they produce all kinds of engines with various energy sources, whatever people want to buy at scale.

There are close to 100 million light vehicles sold each year, plus buses and freight. Plenty of market left even if you assume this strange idea that if somebody buys BEV once, he or she will never evaluate alternatives again.

It’s not a strange idea. People who have experienced the convenience of EVs generally don’t want to go back to the gas station model — that’s a fact. Considering that preserving the gas station model is the only thing hydrogen cars have going for them, the scenario that people will switch from BEVs to hydrogen fuel cell indeed seems an unlikely one.

(Also, Toyota has clearly shown repeatedly that they consider EVs an enemy to their grand hydrogen vision…)

If 200 miles is enough, why was the S60 discontinued, and what is the purpose of the 75 kWh battery in the current edition of the TM3?

What’s your opinion on wireless/inductive charging and opportunistic charging (with dozens or hundreds of 240V outlets in every parking lot) instead of the ultra-fast, because I am kind of wondering about the cable- and receptacle bottleneck. The 50 kW cable is already unwieldy.

Is it not obvious that the purpose of the 75hWh is to make money? The 60 was never a 60 but actually a locked 75. You you really need explain as to why it was discontinued?
Are you apunder the impression that everyone drives around all day long or something? The destination charging doesn’t have to be fast, you are where you need to be already. We already have chargers that are fast enough, the cars need to catch up a bit but I’m sure they will in the coming years. I dirive a 24kWh so I wouldn’t even know what to do with the 50+.

Nah, the original S60 actually had a 60 kWh battery; the S75 (and the variant locked to 60 kWh) came later. The originally available (and quickly discontinued) S40 is the one that never got made with a real 40 kWh battery.

You got it…

This is one of those arguments where someone takes their own usage scenario and decides everyone else uses their vehicle for the same thing and couldn’t possibly have different requirements/wants…

200 miles will be fine for a lot of people, especially if you live in a densely populated part of the world. Others may need more. 130 miles of winter range (200 miles of summer) would leave me stranded more often than not…

That’s funny. So we shouldn’t hold out for Li-Ion battery breakthroughs; but hydrogen fuel cells — which major automakers have been sinking billions into for decades — will *suddenly* see huge breakthroughs in the next few years that will not only make them viable, but also soar past BEVs… Yeah, sure.

I wouldn’t call it “suddenly”. Toyota has showed concept that demonstrates higher range and better economy for larger car.
Now they need to move it into production and into smaller cars.

I wouldn’t call it “huge breakthrough” either, it is just gradual improvement of existing technology. I would say it is expected if you follow development. Most people don’t follow of course, so it may look sudden for them when they finally notice.

Future ‘analysis’ to date has been essentially just fairy tales. Current costs are MUCH (like 5X) higher than assumed just 5 years ago. So any statement of the future 7 years ahead I take to be equally suspect.

I assume you wanted current technology analysis not future.
Not sure what do you mean by “current costs”, but in any analysis there are plenty of fine print, like production scale, raw material costs, what year of dollar value is assumed, etc. “5x higher” usually means somebody was lazy and didn’t read something properly.

Uh huh. Prove me wrong.

Great video! And thanks for posting it.
Nexo is looking even better than my Clarity FC which has compromised trunk space. Fuel cell really shines in larger vehicles.
Glad to see that both Hyundai and Toyota/Honda are making good use of the winter Olympics and 2020 Summer Olympics to showcase the hydrogen technology. Can’t wait to see what Toyota shows in 2020. I bet it will be farther ahead, with much cheaper stacks and longer range.

PS: Only one issue I found in the video. Beginning at 14.30 (at 14.45), the reviewer misspoke. 10000 cars producing 10 kW each is 100 MW, not 1 GW.

Another Euro point of view

I would love a fuel cell used as a ranger extender in order not to drag along a huge battery and still have an electric car that is fast highway capable. EM said those were “fool cells ” but he also said “funding secured” and other comparable deeply thought things so maybe the technology is worth to be revisited. Maybe not now but in a few years when surplus green energy becomes a reality.

I agree with the range extender notion; ideally, there would be a Volt-style plug-in hybrid, with 100-150 mi pure EV range for urban hopping, and a FC for indefinite range extending.

Since Tesla is not involved in R&D on automotive applications of FC’s, Mr. Musk’s pronouncements on this matter are of little consequence for the future of the FC progress.

I think surplus renewable energy in certain parts of the world has been reality for longer than many people realize.


Fuel cell range extender: sure, if using gasoline, it should better than combustion engine range extender, if it can be made affordable… Hydrogen as fuel? Nope.

That surplus that you talk about can be put to better use though storage especially when renewables represent the small % they currently do. We are decades away from having too much green energy.

Agreed. The industry is using not just Tesla branded, but several different brands of battery electric storage, along with optional wind mill and solar generation to take care of ‘both ends’ of the dreaded ‘duck curve’.

The end result is that utilities are using the battery storage solution since it is even CHEAPER than buying peaker plants – and the requisite battery replacement after several years is paid for due to the lack of fuel expense (since there obviously isn’t much fuel expense for battery storage), Plus it has the added advantage of eliminating ‘negative’ energy pricing for the particular utility using batteries – and/or capitalizing on it from a neighboring utility where they pay you to charge your batteries… In any event it elegantly solves the problem of what to do with TOO MUCH unwanted electricity – simply recharge the batteries for later in the day.

Pie in the Sky Hydrogen plants are just that – they don’t compete on price now, and with battery pricing continuing its downward trend, Hydrogen won’t catch up anytime soon.

I always wondered where the term “fool cells” came from. Musk using it does explain a few things…

Sad to see he totally bought into the “hydrogen economy” BS propaganda. Hydrogen to store excess energy over months? What about evaporation losses? What about the energy needed to keep it below 253 °C? And who would want a storage technology that gets back maybe 40% of the energy put into it? Not to mention the enormous costs of the facilities?

It would be *much* cheaper to just overbuild solar and wind and throw away excess generation — if really no better means of managing demand and supply fluctuations can be found — than going with hydrogen.

Err… Below -253 °C, obviously.

Hydrogen is already stored by industry for many years, even if Tesla fan blogs don’t write about it. Please get familiar with the subject as these questions are answered decades ago.

E.g. 2,520 metric tons of H2 in Clements terminal is 83,160,000 kWh of energy. Geological storage is at $1-$2/kg H2, or $0.03-$0.06/kWh. Please write back when battery cost will reach anything close.

That’s interesting stuff indeed… Doesn’t solve the efficiency problem, though.

More questions than answers.
Why go hydrogen when:
– costs more than gasoline hence 8 X more than electricity per km
– is only one third source-to-wheels as efficient as electric battery cars
– what to do with the water in the winter. Hold it in until refuelling station?, till home, How much water released per 100 km
– How to stop hydrogen coming from steam reformed methane
– Hydrogen stations cost $2 million and can only refuel 32 vehicles per day
– for starters

Much of the cost issues you bring up would be solved by economies of scale (especially the refueling stations).

Agreed that JimGord’s complaints are partially solved – as the water may be vaporized as it is currently in ICE cars. But I sure don’t see any economies of scale at the dispensary – one big problem is there are simply few locations that have that much square footage available for a truly large-scale dispensary, and the lack of reciprocating compression of the Hydrogen (BLOWBY is currently a Chestnut unsolvable by current technology) that they just plain cannot be used – therefore much more high maintenance schemes must be used.

The advances made for CNG and LNG systems also therefore cannot be used. I don’t understand why the auto industry/petroleum industry didn’t show more interest in those fuels since they benefit from proven, lower cost technology, and advances with just a little investment would seem likely.

Hydrogen seems like really doing things the hard and expensive way.

China supposedly is going full steam ahead with Hydrogen – it will be interesting to see what is there in 10 years.. But I sure don’t see much happening in the States during that time.

Larger refuelling stations are more expensive. While the relative economies get better of course, they are still poor. And that’s just one of the many cost problems. Economies of scale improve the situation, but it doesn’t look like they will “solve” it, in the sense of making hydrogen cost-competitive with traditional fuels — much less with BEVs…