When discussing HCEVs, eco-friendly or green is a go-to qualifier, largely due to its operation being emission-free with the added benefit of significant air purification. However, being green and environmentally friendly are not the only merits of HCEVs. Here, we take a closer look into those merits, based on the Hyundai NEXO, accepted by the auto market as the best-rounded HCEV in the market.
The NEXO’s single-charge mileage of up to 609 km is a range greater than even the internal-combustion engine vehicles. This is outstanding in comparison to EVs which are also categorized as eco-friendly, as charge times are relatively short. The NEXO’s hydrogen tanks are filled in about 5 minutes.
Power performance is also outstanding. The HCEV’s motor operates on the same principles as EVs, so it has all the advantages of EVs such as near-silent operation and instant torque that provides good acceleration. The NEXO accelerates from a standstill to 100km/h in 9.2 seconds.
FCEVs are economical
What about the operating cost of FCEVs? The cost of fuel expended to move a distance of 1 km as a comparison among in-class vehicles results as follows: gasoline cars – 155 won, diesel cars -97 won (62%), FCEVs 83 (54%), and EVs 56 (36%). The FCEV’s operating cost is significantly better than the combustion engine.
It cost marginally more than EVs, but keep in mind that the hydrogen-energy industry is still in its earlier stages. As the market matures, hydrogen supply will increase, prices will fall, and the FCEV’s economic efficiency will continue to rise.
FCEVs currently come with diverse purchase benefits. The government at both the national and regional level provide subsidies and tax benefits. The consumer actually pays just north of 30 million won (approx. 27,000 dollars) for a new NEXO, roughly the cost of an in-class SUV competitor with a combustion engine. The benefits continue after purchase as well, from reduced public parking charges, highway toll reduction, car tax reduction, and so on.
FCEVs are safe
The Hyundai NEXO garnered a highest rating from the European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) and was voted the safest car in the Large Off-road category. Its outstanding safety was proven to be on par or even better than conventional combustion engine cars. The Korean New Car Assessment Program (KNCAP) also rated NEXO highest scores for crash safety, pedestrian safety, and accident prevention safety. Overall, it achieved the trifecta of highest ratings across all three “mid-size SUVs”, “eco-friendly vehicle”, and “children’s safety” categories.
FCEVs not only meet the same safety conditions and standards as internal combustion engine vehicles, but are further tested for hydrogen tank safety certification. A unique safety feature in FCEVs is the hydrogen leakage detection system. In addition to that, the NEXO features latest technological advancements for accident prevention, including Remote Smart Parking Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Blind-spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist.
FCEV’s greatest merit is their environmentally friendliness. However, that alone is not a sufficient appeal to consumers. In addition to the eco-friendliness, FCEVs are not only economic, but highly competitive even against internal combustion engines. It is clearly worth noting that the outstanding performance aspects of the NEXO as an FCEV have been tested and certified by institutions home and abroad. Even that alone makes the NEXO a charming ride.