Hyundai Nexo FCEV Nets Just 57 MPGe, 0-60 MPH In Sluggish 9.9 Seconds


Hyundai Nexo

Still has a long way to go to match a modern battery-electric car.

Hyundai is one of several automakers still aggressively promtote hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, and this new hydrogen-powered crossover, called Nexo, is the company’s next step in bringing that tech to the public. Compared to the outgoing Tucson-based fuel-cell model, this new one will be quicker, more reliable, more efficient, and more spacious inside. There’s not a lot known about the vehicle itself yet, but Hyundai is eager to share details on the new technology.

Hyundai Nexo

Though still a crossover, like the Tucson, the Nexo is based on a bespoke platform, meaning that it can be specifically tailored to the needs of hydrogen-powered cars. This means, for instance, better packaging of the tough tanks that store the fuel.

Three hydrogen tanks are stored below the rear floor of the vehicle, with a lithium-ion battery pack in the trunk. The car accommodates 14.0 pounds of hydrogen, versus 12.4 in the old one, in a storage system that weighs 36 pounds less than the Tucsons. The fuel cell stack (which converts hydrogen to electricity) is smaller, too. And by having all moving parts (the drive motor and cooling components) under the hood, Hyundai says the new fuel-cell car also keeps more noise out of the passenger compartment. The fuel-cell stack itself generates 95 kilowatts of power, which coupled to the battery’s ability to deliver 40 kW, means a total of 135 kW is available for the driver motor.

That electric drive motor is more powerful than before, too. It now is rated for 120 kW and 291 pound-feet of torque, gains of 20 kW and 70 lb-ft. As a result, acceleration times for the Nexo are quicker than the Tucson FCEV: just 9.9 seconds to 60 miles per hour versus 12.5 seconds before.

As to durability, Hyundai engineers say the system has been tested to the equivalent of a 10-year/100,000-mile life span; it would take about 150,000 miles of driving before the fuel-cell stack had degraded so far as to be at an “end of life” voltage. In other words, the vehicle should last essentially as long as many owners expect internal-combustion cars to.

Hyundai Nexo

Durability testing has included high-altitude testing in Mount Evans, Colorado, at 14,000 feet; towing up the steep Towne Pass in Death Valley on a 127-degree Fahrenheit day; and cold starts at -22 degrees Fahrenheit in Alaska. That last point is a big deal, as fuel cell cars typically struggle to start and produce much power in cold weather. Jerome Gregeois, senior manager for eco powertrains at Hyundai America Technical Center, says the new fuel-cell crossover is ready to run in just 30 seconds in -22-degree conditions, where the Tucson needed 90 seconds to fully warm its systems. “In a matter of minutes you can have full power,” he says.”

As might be expected from all the other technical improvements, driving range has improved, too. The Nexo is expected to get an EPA rating of 350 miles per fill-up of hydrogen while returning the equivalent of 57 MPGe. That’s enough, Gregeois notes, to drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas without refueling. And it’s better than the Tucson FCEV’s rating of 265 miles per fill-up.

Of course, fueling up with hydrogen is still a tricky business. There are few hydrogen filling stations nationwide, and Hyundai officials say the company has no interest in getting into the fuel-supply business itself. As is the case with any fuel-cell car, it’s going to be a chicken-and-egg situation before hydrogen stations are as prevalent as gas stations – or even EV charging points.

“We still see internal combustion engines as being the dominant propulsion system out to 2025 and beyond,” says John Juriga, Hyundai of America Director of Powertrain.

It’s still not exactly clear how and when Hyundai will try to commercialize the Nexo – the Tucson FCEV was available as a lease only, and only in certain parts of southern California. But what is clear is that Hyundai remains enthusiastic about the future of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

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69 Comments on "Hyundai Nexo FCEV Nets Just 57 MPGe, 0-60 MPH In Sluggish 9.9 Seconds"

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So basically it has the performance and efficiency of a regular gas powered Prius but costs more and has no national fueling infrastructure.

The only “advantage” is that it is considered a crossover. I bet if we checked the interior specs it probably doesn’t have much more if any interior volume than the Prius.

I’d say the main advantage is no emissions..

EVs have emissions as well as HFCVs. That’s why there is a MPGe rating. Well to wheels this Nexo will have no better emissions than a Prius.

Maybe someday if they make H2 100% with renewables then it will have lower emissions but that isn’t where H2 comes from now.

Isn’t MPGe a refection of how much energy is consumed compared to a fossil fuel vehicle? I don’t think MPGe has anything to do with emissions. For electric vehicles the new efficiency measure will the kWh/km (or kWh/mi in the US). Again, not a measure of emissions but energy use. My Leaf has a lifetime average 0.14kWh/km which compares to about 1.5ltr/100km I think.

HFCVs well to wheels efficiency compared to EVs on pure 100% renewables:

Some of those numbers can be tweaked but most analyses has HFC efficiency below 25% round trip.

Can I get some groceries paying by these imaginary “efficiency points”?


Assuming you charge both vehicles at home – battery electric via EVSE and hydrogen fuel cell electric via home electrolysis/compression – the FCEV will use 3.3x as much energy.

The average user in the US pays $0.12/kWh and drives around 1000 miles per month.

A typical BEV using 300 Wh/mile costs $40/month and a similar FCEV costs $130/month.

So, the BEV driver has $90 more per month for groceries (or whatever).

LOL owned!

Well the thing is that with the current hydrogen prices of around $16/kg, Niro will cost you $0.29 per mile which is $290 for 1000 miles. Thus, the fueling cost fir FCEV is just ridiculous at the moment and does not justify the 10-15 minutes you save refueling at all. In fact FCEV is far worse than Gasoline cars in terms of operating cost and because of that will never appeal to majority of people (unless hydrogen prices fall at least five fold, which seem highly unlikely to me)

zzzzzzzzzz said:

“Can I get some groceries paying by these imaginary ‘efficiency points’?”

Yeah, physics and the Laws of Thermodynamics are “imaginary.” 🙄

Is there a grocery chain which gives out coupons to science deniers like you, zzzzzzzzz? Maybe one owned by the Koch Bros?
😆 😆 😆

Efficiently doesn’t matter: only cost does, as ICEs have shown.

Utility scale solar is at two cents a kwh. At those prices, many will be willing to go hydrogen for zero emissions without the hassles of charging an EV. In California, you can drive from San Diego to Tahoe using the H2 network, with five minute refills. That’s convenience no BEV can give you.

Oh boy. If utility scale solar is so cheap then I can charge my EV for much less than filling up at a H2 station. I also can’t fill my HFCV up in my garage for the 98% of miles I drive locally.

And when I go on trips I never drive to Tahoe since I live in Atlanta. I will instead just spend 20 minutes at a Supercharger to get to the GA coast or stop twice for 20 minutes on the way to Orlando for those one or two trips I take a year.

I also don’t want a car that costs $50,000 for Prius performance. No thanks.

“Efficiently doesn’t matter…”

I really need to add that to the list of “Myths and Disinformation to Use When Promoting the ‘Hydrogen Economy’ Hoax”.

It’s amazing how often we see that absurdity from fool cell fanboys!

Seriously if that was true all piston engine cars would be using diesel today. But most use gasoline.

Agreed. I have a 40 panel solar array. The system. including inverters, is 14% efficient. But so what? My system is the bomb.

LMAO, 6 Fool Cells/Tesla shorts claims “efficiency doesn’t matter”.

This is like the Republiconns claiming that “deficits don’t matter”!

Incorrect. 95% of hydrogen is made from natural gas. A process that produces yes, carbon.

In the UK, almost all FCEV stations source 100 percent renewable hydrogen. In CA it’s aroing 50%. Don’t confuse FCEV hydrogen with industrial hydrogen.

On a well-to-wheel basis, renewable hydrogen is even more profligately wasteful of energy, and therefore even more polluting, than hydrogen made from natural gas.

Yet another example of greenwashing by Big Oil shills.

“I’d say the main advantage is no emissions..”

Quoting from “Myths and Disinformation to Use When Promoting the ‘Hydrogen Economy’ Hoax”:

1. Fuel cell vehicles are “green” and completely non-polluting!

It is crossover, not sedan or hatchback. It is silly to expect the same fuel economy from it as from smaller sedan.

So it has more ground clearance. Same volume inside. Probably has even a similar frontal area as a Prius. The Nexo’s drivetrain is certainly heavier than the Prius’s.

Then there is the crossover Kia Niro gas car that gets a rating of 50 mpg combined and has a 0-60 of 8.6 seconds. So a much more expensive and slower HFC crossover has 7 MPGe better than a gas crossover. And back to not having fueling infrastructure.

Also if a crossover is expected to have worse efficiency being a larger and heavier car then why does a Tesla Model X that seats 7 and has a 0-60 of 4.9 seconds still get 93 MPGe? It’s certainly bigger than a Prius and also bigger and heavier than the Nexo. Hmm.

Meanwhile, in 2016, the *average* car life in NL is 10,2 years for 8 Million cars on the road in NL.

How can 10 years be the sort of life expectancy of new cars, regardless of drive train.

Since Hyundai is famous for its 10 year/100k mile warranty (at least here in the States), the expectation is that it would last longer so that they don’t actually have to fulfill the warranty requirements.

On the upside, FCEVs have got to be the easiest platform for enthusiasts like Jehu Garcia to convert to BEV, compared to gas or Diesel cars. Just swap out the H2 tank and cell for batteries, and maybe upgrade the motor and, BAM! And FCEVs’ resale value will bea sliver, so they could be snatched up for pennies on the dollar. Still never as good as a bespoke BEV with a skateboard platform (the cell and tank are typically above the axle line) but still, more BEVs on the road in the long run.

Once again to all the FC manufacturers, I will contemplate an FC when I can fuel it like my EV. Come home at night plug (?) it in using free fuel (Solar) and leave in the morning with a full tank.

You can, If you can afford it. At the university, we used solar cells, and converted extra energy to hydrogen gas. The hydrogen gas was compressed and stored in a large underground tank, and was then ready to use. If you have the solar, you will need a storage tank, hydrogen converter and a compressor. Then you have to add the filling plug to the tank, and you’re good to go. Simplified of course. We converted an old tiny Peugeot, and basically ripped the back seats out, added a tank, the fuel cell stack, and a battery bank. Ripped out the engine, added an electric motor, converters and controllers. And after a few weeks we were up and running on free (to us) hydrogen. I used the old car for several years. Our main problem (not thinking of the lack of safety), was the low pressure we had to use, due to a cheap (converted general purpose) tank. We had to fill at least twice a week, even without that much driving. So it can be done, but. . it has a price. I know a guy (engineer like me) that has done that at home. He says the cost… Read more »

He’s probably more “OFF” the grid than “of” the grid. Nice proof of concept, and that it (FC home refueling) can be done.

“and he had the money to burn”

That pretty much sums of entire scenario of H for personal use, including cars. As a hobby, sure, I can see some people doing it by continually spending tons of money. But normal people will not spend several times what other solutions offer.

Most normal people don’t buy restricted range cars that can’t go 300+ miles and be refueled in 5 minutes. Around 98-99% of people to be specific.

You can push to other 1-2% using generous incentives, giving away restricted use cars for half the price, brainwashing them about imaginary environmental benefit, but they tend to leave regular “backup” car in the garage, or ask for backup ICE under hood.

Either you make EVs function like every normal car does, or it is not going very far.

BEVs have advantages over ICE in home charging convenience as well as being cheaper to fuel (much cheaper with home solar). For normal people, cost will be a factor. Seeing how some drive half way across town to get $0.01/gal cheaper gas, normal people will drive BEV as cost comes down and/or install home solar even with less range than ICE.

Tell me again why any normal person would choose to drive FCEV that performs poorer, cost double or more, 5X price in fuel (after free trial), nothing improved over ICE cars? FCEV is literally paying more for worse experience.

Take your anti-EV glasses off for a minute … he’s talking about most normal people who want to buy something else than ICE… they will buy EV, not H2 based FCEV.

You can thank me later …

No one would buy FCEVs (oh wait, they already don’t) either if the fuel wasn’t heavily subsidized (aka free).

I hope you are not a business person, because this is simply not how markets work.

To replace an existing product it only has to be significantly better in SOME ways, not all. That is how technology advances, in almost all cases.

Well fool cell shill and troll zzzzz, since California is ALREADY over 5% PEVs for new sales of passenger vehicles then it proves you Big Oil FUD and propaganda the lie it is.

And, with Model 3 sales about to probably at least double those numbers you might want to work on your resume!

Or one could spend $400 and plug in an L2 charger into their NEMA outlet in the garage and be done with it.

But, Fool Cell manure-fact-u-yours have the Hydrogen Highway coming soon, to a highway robbery off ramp near you!

Your solar self sufficiency, and at home charging network, are an absolute affront to global polluting energy extraction corporations, and their ongoing profit making schemes. How do you expect them to wreck havoc among indigenous populations, while leaving behind nothing but misery, and environmental destruction in their wake.

“…I will contemplate an FC when I can fuel it like my EV. Come home at night plug (?) it in using free fuel (Solar) and leave in the morning with a full tank.”

You can buy a self-contained SimpleFuel home H2 generation, storage, and dispensing unit, suitable for filling up a fool cell car, for only $250,000. Cheap at the price, right? And better yet, it has a footprint smaller than an average compact car, so installing that in your garage will instantly convert it from a two-car garage into a one-car garage!

Hurry and install that now so you can be first on your block to own one. All the fool cell fanboys agree: It’s the future of automobiles! 😉

If they do not provide free fuel, no one would drive this thing. Paying retail H price of $16/kg is just plain stupid.

But if they do provide free fuel, then for how long? If it’s only 2 or 3 years, that’s about the life of the car since H price won’t come down anywhere near gasoline price in 3 years, if ever. Crushing cars after 3 years of use seems extremely wasteful.

Try 1.6 EUR/liter gasoline (includes taxes) somewhere in Western Europe. That is 1.6*3.79=6EUR/US gal. Not much different from 10 EUR/kg H2. But streets are still full of cars & SUVs that would be 20-30 mpg in US metrics.

$7.50 per Gal in Iceland but only $0.055 per kWh.

10 Euro per kg untaxed and with heavily sponsored hydrogen stations.

If it had half the taxes of electricity or gasoline/diesel it would be twice the cost of today.

Hmmm, I don’t think 10€/kg is all that heavily subsidized. If it was a price equivalent to USD $15/kg, it would be only 12€/kg.

It’s certainly true that at the very heavily taxed EU prices for petrol, hydrogen powered cars are much closer to actually being cost-competitive… so long as those same taxes are not applied to H2 fuel. Fool cell cars are still abysmally non-cost-competitive when compared to BEVs, though!

Of course, in a fantasy world where the laws of physics are different and a massive shift to fool cell cars actually happened, there’s no way that the government wouldn’t impose those same taxes on hydrogen fuel! Not unless the reality of economics underwent a shift as massive as the change in reality which would be required to change the laws of physics.

But hey, as long as fool cell fanboys are engaged in wishful thinking, why stop at science? They can just pretend “efficiency doesn’t matter” and so price doesn’t either! Wheeeee!
😆 😆 😆

That’s about the expected MPGe figure considering the Mirai and the Clarity FCEV are in their 60s.

I hope Hyundai comes to their senses and scraps their H2 program soon.

No, let them spend the money.
All science and development tend to find a practical use somewhere.
With the progress they’re doing, and the cost reductions from one generaton to the next – this will benefit somebody.

I am amazed at the rapid progress made by Honda and Hyundai in the last 3-4 years. Now these cars are practical and useful for all Californians.

What’s the progress in cell density made by Tesla, who is working on it for over 14 years now? Can someone state some verifiable progress on the battery front? Are the cells from Giga manufactory more energy dense compared to Model S cells?

“All science and development tend to find a practical use somewhere.”

No, I think it’s safe to say that more than 99% of scientific research and experimentation doesn’t have any practical value whatsoever. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile to keep trying, because the 0.1 or 0.01% that does have value is worth quite a lot!

To quote (or at least paraphrase) Thomas Edison: “I didn’t fail. I just found 2,000 ways not to make a lightbulb; I only needed to find one way to make it work.”

Edison discarded those other 1999 ways (or 599, or 9,999, depending on which version of the quote you like) as unusable, and rightly so! He didn’t keep on stubbornly trying the same failed method again and again.

The argument that every idea is worth continuing to spend money and effort pursuing, no matter how many times you fail, is the argument used by “free energy” (aka perpetual motion) fanboys. No, at some point we need to admit some things are simply unworkable, and start looking for something with at least a faint possibility of practical use.

How long before they offer the BEV and EREV versions?

Another Euro point of view

That’s the problem with brands like Hyundai, Kia etc. Most of their cars are just a little short on HP’s, that forces me to buy German cars while I would be glad to buy Korean or Japanese (IMO Japanese cars look dull/ugly, the Koreans poached European car designers and it shows).

Great progress in FCEVs in the last 3-4 years. With the stacks getting small enough to fit under the hoods, power output increasing and range getting longer and longer, there is less need for too many refueling stations. Once H2 trucks come along, it’s game over for expensive and difficult to recycle BEVs that suffer from many issues.

If Hyundai offers a $369/mo lease on this and gets the car faster to me, I may switch from Clarity to this. I couldn’t care less about quarter mile drag races.

Author wrote in semi-headline:
“Still has a long way to go to match a modern battery-electric cars”.

Really? Which other BEV crossover has an EPA range of 350 miles, refuels to 100% in 5 minutes, doesn’t loose range or charging rate in severe winter and costs under $100k or leases for under $500 a month? Please name one. I am all ears.

Which FCEV can charge at home so that going to fuel station is not normally necessary? I’m all ears.

If someone wanted 100% fuel in 5 minutes, they’d get ICE car. There’s quite literally zero advantage for FCEV over ICE cars. Please tell me one single advantage of FCEV over ICE from driver’s perspective. I’m all ears.

I’m not sure if you are just trolling or serious. Most people buy these bev/phev/fcev in Californai for HOV access. Most don’t give a ra** a** about environment. So, HOV access and ZEV are big enough advantages over ICE. Quite simple.

If you want to talk cost of refueling, don’t forget to add the 3 year depreciation of a BEV. For a $55k Model 3, that’s close to $30,000. This alone trounces all penny pinching calculation about fuel costs.

If you want HOV sticker, plug-in hybrid (ICE inside) is lot cheaper than FCEV and doesn’t suffer the deficiencies like lack of fuel stations.

If you want to talk about depreciation, BEV like SparkEV hold their value well; $16K post subsidy new, $10K after 3 years. I doubt anyone will pay even $1 to buy FCEV if they have to pay for fuel. That means FCEV will be junk car after 3 years when the fuel is no longer free.

Again, tell me just ONE benefit of FCEV over ICE (PHV is also ICE) instead of trying to bring up even worse aspects of FCEV like 100% depreciation after fuel subsidy runs out. I’m still all ears.

I’m not clear what you are arguing about, since you keep changing your stance. My original comment was comparing this to pure BEVs of similar range. You’re also pulling numbers (like $1k resale for used FCEVs) from nowhere. * If you are saying Spark EV is good, then it’s fine. It suits some people. Mirai/Clarity are a different class of car. No disrespect for Spark EV; I drove it for a while. Then I saw a leaf whose back was all crumpled by some SUV, and I carry kids in the back many times. If it works for you and you are happy with 50 mile range in winter, long recharge times and always being on the lookout for a charge port, then it’s all good. * If you’re saying PHEV/Hybrids are good, then I’m with you. But people have to play along with the rules set by scammy govts and greedy industrialists who are brainwashing or forcing people on banning all ICE cars, even though many are cleaner and improving everyday. So, I agree with you on this. One shoe doesn’t fit all. Some need more range than a Spark EV. Soem need more space. Some are paranoid about… Read more »

“Once H2 trucks come along, it’s game over for expensive and difficult to recycle BEVs that suffer from many issues.”

Good luck with changing the laws of physics so that H2-powered trucks will magically become practical. Do let us know if you make any progress with that.
😆 😆 😆

P.S. — “Difficult to recycle”? Which Tesla Hater cultist did you copy that FUD from?

Can you please count how many petrol/diesel stations there are near you? Where I live there is one almost every 3-5km in every direction, often two or three different brands on opposite corners. And this with vehicles that can travel 600-1,000km per fill. Why would you think a longer range FCEV would require less filling stations? If the petrol/diesel vehicles are to be replaced then it is safe to assume all those petrol/diesel stations also need to be replaced.
That might not be the case for BEV, though. I charge mine at my house, basically haven’t been to the petrol/diesel station for 2yrs. The only time I need the public charging is when traveling, so in that situation there will need to be a whole lot more chargers at the “service station” than traditionally with petrol/diesel.

Impressive improvements compared to the Tucson-FCEV
Fuel capacity: 14 lb (1.6 more)
Motor: 120 KW (20 more)
Range: 350 miles (85 more)

Tucson: 176(L) * 73(W) * 65(H)
Nexo: 183.90(L) * 73.2(W) * 64.2(H)

So Nexo is much bigger vehicle and that makes it even more impressive. Is the Lithium battery in it used to capture the regenerative energy. Is there a plug to charge the battery, if so what range does the battery provide. A FCV can also be a plugin which allows short range driving with battery and long range using fuel cell.

But when will Hyundai launch it is a BIG ?
And it will go on sale only in California.

Honda Clarity-FCV is sputtering after initial good sales. Its partial dedicated vehicle since it’s shared by Plugin and Electric, but not the regular gasmobile.

“Honda Clarity-FCV is sputtering after initial good sales”
From where did you get that? There is not a single one on sale here. There is a 10 month waiting list for Clarity FCV. Whether Honda is making them in decent volumes is another question.

I suspect Honda isn’t making them, because they know that lease returns will be impossible to sell. Who in their right mind would pay $16/kg or even half that? That means Honda will junk / crush all lease returns or they must subsidize fuel for longer time and lose even more money. Smart thing to do is to limit FCEV as much as possible, which Honda is doing.

The “smart” thing to do — or at least, the slightly less stupid thing to do when it comes to wasting money by building fool cell cars — would be to limit sales to Japan, where subsidies in some cases are (or at least were) up to nearly $20,000 per car!

I think the total subsidy spending on fuel cell cars is still way less than what’s spent in fed tax credits on BEVs and PHEVs in the last 3-4 years. In US itself, last year fed tax credit totaled $2B, 2016 $1.5B and 2015 $1B (using insideevs number). Fuel cell cars made lot more progress than the battery tech with much less subsidies.
For example, look at Tesla, the presumed electric car leader. They are still using the same toothbrush batteries from 7 years ago. So, ROI on fuel cell subsidies has been much better.

None of automakers is selling FCEVs at mass scale. Mirai sells most but just few thousands per year of manual production, it was designed and planned as low volume car. Hyundai Nexo is planned for 3000 production first year as well.

It would be silly to assume mass market automakers selling millions of cars per year are trying to profit or recoup billions in R&D on these few thousands cars. It is just pilot production for field testing. Mirai MSRP recoups factory production costs and $15k fuel credit as per actual component cost studies, but that is all.

Next FCEV generation will be closer to mass market with lower costs to produce per unit, and will be sold as much as possible to recoup R&D.

That’s exactly the point. Automakers claim that its a great vehicle, but don’t manufacture them and make the customer wait forever.

Another example is Ioniq-EV which is priced affordably but only 8 units are available for sale nationwide.

We don’t need to worry anymore as Leaf with same price and another 25 mile extra range has arrived.

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric at least has a forced-air cooling system for the battery pack, which puts it a step up from the Leaf. So no, not an equal value replacement.

“Is the Lithium battery in it used to capture the regenerative energy.”

It’s pretty common for a FCEV to include at least a small battery pack. The power output of the fuel cell stack cannot be turned up or down all that quickly, so a battery pack is used as a buffer when accelerating or coming to a stop, or — as you say — for capturing energy from regenerative braking.

“It’s still not exactly clear how and when Hyundai will try to commercialize the Nexo…”

Well, thank goodness that at present this is just a concept car or prototype. The EV world certainly does not need yet another “fool cell” car to be put into production! FCEVs make interesting, if wildly overpriced, science fair experiments. As everyday passenger vehicles, they are simply ridiculous.