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Hyundai Introduces NEXO Hydrogen Fuel Cell EV At CES 2018


What kind of gadgetry do you find at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas? Well, Razer just announced a phone accessory that turns it into a laptop. HTC revealed the second generation Vive Pro VR headset. Nvidia is launching a 65-inch 4K 120Hz monitor. And Hyundai has... an "eco-friendly" hydrogen fuel cell crossover utility vehicle based on the Tucson. You may think there's an audience mismatch but if you've ever watched HBO's Silicon Valley you'll see a car like the NEXO fits high-tech Californians like a glove. You know, the kind that believe they're making the world a better place through minimal message oriented transport layers.

Introduced in 2014, Hyundai's first hydrogen fuel cell Tucson FCEV has often been overshadowed by its Japanese rivals Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity. It having the looks and base platform of a second-gen Tucson didn't help. Now, the NEXO expands on the third-gen Tucson by practically having its own bespoke platform.

Compared to the current Tucson the NEXO is 7 inches longer, 1 inch wider, 4 inches shorter, and packs a 4 inch longer wheelbase. Hyundai claims the hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain is more efficient with an improved layout so it's lighter, smaller, and more powerful. The compact design opens up more space in the boot. Hyundai says they've increased its robustness, allowing the NEXO to operate in a wider range of temperatures and conditions. 

Power is sourced from a 95kW fuel cell and a 40kW battery. Its electric driving motors produce 161 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque at the front wheels for a zero-to-60 mph in a listful 9.5 seconds. Hyundai claims a 370 mile (595 km) range for the NEXO eclipsing the old Tucson FCEV by 105 miles. When stacked against the 2018 Honda Clarity the NEXO wins by 4 miles while having a larger body.

Hyundai is also treating the NEXO as its technological flagship so its introduction introduces four new technologies for future Hyundai cars. These technologies include blind-spot view monitor enabling drivers to see their blind spot with cameras in their gauge cluster. Lane follow assist keeping the car in the center of the lane usable from zero to 90 mph. Highway driving assist that automatically sets driving speeds using navigation and sign data. And remote parking assist enabling the NEXO to automatically park with or without a driver inside.

Prices for the 2018 Hyundai NEXO is not listed yet. Almost all hydrogen fuel cell offerings in the states involve a three-year lease. And only a few places in California, South Carolina, Connecticut, and Massachusetts can support hydrogen cars. Hyundai plans to launch the NEXO worldwide early this year.