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Hyundai Nexo ; Is hydrogen fuel cell technology the precise solution to 0 carbon emissions?

Electric Vehicles have been identifying it’s space in the global market ever since the inception and popularity of Tesla. As of November 2019, there are 5.1 million EVs in the world. However majority of the EVs are battery powered. Quite interestingly, there is an alternative to power electric cars.

Hyundai Nexo (Hydrogen car from Hyundai) 📸 @hyundaiusa (Instagram handle)

Hydrogen powered cars are not a new concept. In fact they have garnered enough attention and discussions for research throughout the automobile world until a decade ago. Their picture eventually seemed to fade away when battery powered cars beat them at the popularity game.
The big T’s founder Elon Musk evaluates the idea of hydrogen powered cars as ridiculous.

Hyundai Nexo (Hydrogen car from Hyundai) 📸 @hyundaiusa (Instagram handle)
Hyundai Nexo (Hydrogen car from Hyundai) 📸 @hyundaiusa (Instagram handle)

To the contrary, Japan, China and South Korea have been recently focusing on developing hydrogen fuel cell technology. In fact these countries have already made substantial investments and are betting huge. In my opinion hydrogen could be the best answer to finding the ideal fuel. Basically because :
1. It’s a clean fuel, with 0 carbon emissions. The only emission is water.
2. It is a more powerful fuel than battery and even conventional combustion fuels like petrol and diesel.
3. Promises a much larger range than battery powered electric cars. Hence lesser frequency of refuelling.
4. Faster refuelling than electric charging.
5. Hydrogen fuel cells are way lighter than battery packs which takes up enormous amounts of space.

Hyundai Nexo (Hydrogen car from Hyundai) 📸 @hyundaiusa (Instagram handle)
Hyundai Nexo (Hydrogen car from Hyundai) 📸 @hyundaiusa (Instagram handle)

The main cons however are :
1. According to a study by Volkswagen, the well to wheel energy ratio isn’t impressive enough. A substantial amount of energy would be dissipated in the process of transferring the power to the drive, which is not the case for a battery powered car.
2. Initial costs of purchasing a hydrogen car is way more than a battery car.
3. The cost of hydrogen fuel isn’t really economical as of now.
4. Production of Hydrogen like Battery Packs would involve CO2 emissions if unless it’s synthesised from renewable sources.

In the present scenario, arguably the best hydrogen car available in the market is the Hyundai Nexo.

Pricing : Starting from 59k USD (Available mainly in the US and some parts of EU) It’s a tad bit expensive given it’s a compact SUV from Hyundai.
Acceleration ( 0 to 60 mph) : in 8.4 seconds.
Torque : 291 lb-ft
Power : 161 hp
Drivetrain : 95 kW fuel cell stack backed up with a 40 kWh battery pack.

Hyundai Nexo (Hydrogen car from Hyundai) 📸 @hyundaiusa (Instagram handle)
Hyundai Nexo (Hydrogen car from Hyundai) 📸 @hyundaiusa (Instagram handle)
Hyundai Nexo (Hydrogen car from Hyundai) 📸 @hyundaiusa (Instagram handle)

Nihar Hareesh View All

Founder, Content Creator at The Krankshaft.

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