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Hyundai’s New HFC SUV at CES

As car manufacturers battle to dominate the lithium-ion-powered e-vehicle scene, Hyundai has decided to go against the flow by unveiling its newest hydrogen fuel cell SUV at CES 2018.

On Monday, the South Korean automaker, Hyundai, introduced its latest car model at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. However, instead of equipping it with the now popular lithium-ion car battery, the company’s newest utility vehicle is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

For years, a number of car manufacturers have been pushing fuel cell e-vehicles in the mainstream market. While the auto industry’s shift to cleaner, cheaper, and more sustainable vehicles and energy sources has been dominated by battery-operated electric cars, Hyundai, Toyota, and Honda, to name a few, remain positive about the potentials of hydrogen fuel cells.

“We call this the next future utility vehicle,” Hyundai Vice President, Ki-Sang Lee, said.

Dubbed as NEXO, this vehicle picks up where the Tucson FCEV left off. The Tucson FCEV was Hyundai’s first attempt at mass producing a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car for its customers in Asia, North America, and Europe. NEXO has now taken over that position for Hyundai and has been designed to impress.

Hyundai’s newest crossover hydrogen fuel cell-powered SUV is said to be an all-new platform equipped with the company’s latest car techs. Nexo features a voice command system, artificial intelligence, and can be switched into an autonomous car.

According to Hyundai, Nexo was built from the ground up with a fuel cell in mind. Thus making the car design lighter while giving the hydrogen fuel tank a more strategic layout. The Nexo notably resembles the current Tucson compact SUV. However, Hyundai has said that its design allows for more passenger space, improved aerodynamics, acceleration, and efficiency.

As part of the company’s recent line of so-called “eco-vehicles,” Hyundai sees hydrogen as the future in this field.

“NEXO embodies everything we have learned in five years of the Tucson fuel-cell vehicle,” Ki-Sang Lee went on to say. According to The Verge, Nexo is reportedly packed with the following new technologies and features:

  • 0-60 mph time in about 9.5 seconds
  • A 370-mile range
  • Remote Smart Parking Assistant
  • Lane following system that allows Nexo to remain centered in its lane up to 90 mph
  • Highway Driving Assistant that uses sensors and map data to adjust speed when needed automatically
  • Wide-angle camera that can see blind spots while changing lanes or parking

Like the Tucson FCEV, expect the new hydrogen fuel cell-powered Nexo to be available in select markets where hydrogen fuel refilling stations are available. Hyundai has said that it plans to sell the Nexo in California later this year; a seemingly bold move to compete with battery-powered e-vehicles in the region. Aside from California, the car will most likely be available in South Korea, Australia, and a number of European countries.

Nexo is just one of the 18 eco-friendly vehicles that Hyundai plans to release by 2025, including plug-in hybrids, hybrids, battery electrics, and hydrogen fuel cell cars.

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